ORIGINALLY WRITTEN DON RATZLAFF
Jamey Cooper drove in six runs on three hits, including a three-run homer, to power Hillsboro American Legion Post 366 to a 16-2 four-inning romp over Sterling and a sweep of their Sunday doubleheader at Tabor Field.
Hillsboro won the first game 6-1 in a five-inning contest. Cooper doubled to drive in two more runs in that game.
The other hero of Game 2 was Robert Verbic. Making his pitching debut, the righthander from Marion scattered two hits, struck out six and walked only one. The two runs he allowed were unearned.
Offensively, Hillsboro accumulated 11 hits and six walks to overwhelm the visitors from Sterling. The home team led 2-0 after one inning, but then blew the game open with six and eight runs in the next two innings.
The first game was much closer. Sterling’s took the lead when their leadoff batter was hit by a Chase Freeborn pitch, then scored on two Hillsboro throwing errors on a steal attempt.
That turned out to be Sterling’s only run. Hillsboro came back with two runs in the first on Cooper’s two-run double, then scored three times in the third on a single by Andy Brubacher, back-to-back doubles by Verbic and Jeremy Sheffler and a single by Freeborn.
Freeborn overcame some early wildness to pitch all five innings. The lanky righthander from Marion gave up only one hit-a single to left in the second inning-and struck out eight, but also hit four batters and walked three.
With the sweep, Hillsboro’s record moves to 8-7 on the field and 10-7 with the addition of two forfeit wins over Sterling from June 17.
Lindsborg-Post 366 used solid back-to-back pitching performances to sweep a pair of games from Lindsborg, 8-2 and 10-5, July 1 in Lindsborg.
In the first game, Jamey Cooper scattered six hits, struck out five and walked only one over seven innings for a complete-game win.
Three of those hits came in the bottom of the sixth, when Lindsborg scored its second run of the game.
Offensively, Hillsboro scored a run in the first, two in the third and one in the fourth before a three-run fifth broke the game open.
Chase Freeborn led off with a walk, then went all the way to third when a pick-off throw sailed over the head of the Lindsborg first baseman. After Corey Thiessen was hit by a pitch, Freeborn scored on a play at the plate on a ground ball to short by Cooper.
After Graham Ratzlaff walked, Thiessen scored on a ground out by Shawn Hughbanks and Cooper scored on a throwing error on Robert Verbic’s ground ball.
Lindsborg committed six errors in the game.
In the second game, Hillsboro’s Layne Frick and Dustin Jost teamed up for five innings of no-hit pitching.
Frick walked four batters in four innings, but struck out eight. Jost come on in the fifth to strike out two and walk one batter, which he then picked off.
The magic ended in the sixth when Jost walked the lead-off hitter, then gave up consecutive singles-one of the infield variety and the next a blooper over second base. A run scored on a throwing error by Thiessen at second base. Jost then struck out the next three hitters to end the rally
By that time, though, Hillsboro led 8-1, scoring once in the second, twice in third and fifth innings, and three times in the sixth.
Ratzlaff led off the sixth with a walk, then scored when the Lindsborg pitcher fielded Jeremy Hanes’ perfect bunt and threw wildly past first. After Kris Jones walked and Thiessen popped out, Freeborn drove in Hanes and Jones with a single to right center.
Freeborn came in to pitch the top of the seventh and walked four of the five batters he faced. Cooper relieved him with one out, one run in and the bases loaded. The righthander from Marion walked the first hitter and hit the next one to force in two more runs. A third run scored on a wild pitch before he got the final two outs.
Once again, Hillsboro’s biggest offensive boost came courtesy of sloppy Lindsborg fielding. Post 366 managed only five hits in the game and only four of their 10 runs were earned, thanks to eight errors committed by the home team.
Coming-Hillsboro is scheduled to play doubleheaders at McPherson tonight, then to close the regular season with doubleheaders at home against Lindsborg and Emporia. three doubleheaders are to begin at 6 p.m.
Hillsboro will host this year’s zone tournament begining either July 24 or 25 at Tabor Field. Joining Hillsboro will be Lyons, Nickerson, Lindsborg and Hoisington.
Hillsboro 6, Sterling 1
July 8, Tabor Field, Game 1
Sterling 1 0 0 0 0-1 1 3
Hillsboro (9-7) 2 0 3 1 x-6 5 2
Hillsboro pitching: Chase Freeborn (W) 5.0 innings, 21 AB, 8 K, 2 BB, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 4 HBP. Catcher: Jamey Cooper.
Hillsboro hitting (ab-r-h-rbi): Andy Brubacher 3-1-1-0, Robert Verbic 3-1-1-1, Jeremy Sheffler 2-2-1-1, Chase Freeborn 1-1-1-1, Jamey Cooper 2-0-1-2, Steven Chisholm 2-0-0-0, Shawn Hughbanks 2-0-0-0, Jared Fish 2-0-0-0, Ben Walker 1-1-0-0. Totals: 18-6-5-5. 2B: Cooper, Verbic, Sheffler.
Hillsboro 6, Sterling 1
July 8, Tabor Field, Game 2
Sterling 0 0 2 0- 2 2 1
Hillsboro (10-7) 2 6 8 x-16 11 3
Hillsboro pitching: Robert Verbic (W) 4.0 innings, 13 AB, 6 K, 1 BB, 2 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 HBP. Catcher: Jeremy Sheffler.
Hillsboro hitting (ab-r-h-rbi): Andy Brubacher 4-2-2-2, Jeremy Sheffler 4-2-2-1, Chase Freeborn 2-0-0-0, Dustin Jost 1-1-1-0, Jamey Cooper 4-3-3-5, Shawn Hughbanks 1-2-1-0, Steven Chisholm 0-2-0-0, Robert Verbic 4-0-0-0, Jared Fish 1-2-1-0, Ben Walker 3-2-1-0. Totals: 25-16-11-10. HR: Cooper (2). 2B: Cooper 2, Brubacher.
Hillsboro 8, Lindsborg 2
July 2, Bethany College, Lindsborg, Game 1
Hillsboro (5-7) 1 0 2 1 3 0 1- 8 7 0
Lindsborg 1 0 3 0 3 0 1-2 6 6
Hillsboro pitching: Jamey Cooper (W) 7.0 innings, 27 AB, 5 K, 1 BB, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 WP, 1 HBP. Catcher: Kris Jones.
Hillsboro hitting (ab-r-h-rbi): Dustin Jost 5-2-2-0, Andy Brubacher 3-1-1-1, Kris Jones 4-0-0-0, Chase Freeborn 1-1-0-0, Layne Frick 1-0-0-0, Corey Thiessen 3-1-1-1, Jamey Cooper 4-1-0-0, Graham Ratzlaff 2-0-0-0, Steven Chisholm 1-0-0-0, Jeremy Hanes 2-0-0-0, Shawn Hughbanks 1-1-1-1, Ben Walker 1-1-1-0, Robert Verbic 2-0-1-0. Totals: 30-8-7-3.
Hillsboro 10, Lindsborg 5
July 2, Bethany College, Game 2
Hillsboro (6-7) 0 1 2 0 2 3 2- 10 5 0
Lindsborg 0 0 0 0 0 1 4- 5 2 8
Hillsboro pitching: Layne Frick (W) 4.0 innings, 16 AB, 8 K, 4 BB, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 WP, 0 HBP; Dustin Jost 2.0 innings, 9 AB, 5 K, 2 BB, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 WP, 0 HBP; Chase Freeborn 0.1 inning, 5 AB, 1 K, 4 BB, 0 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 WP, 1 HBP; Jamey Cooper (S) 0.2 innings, 4 AB, 0 K, 1 BB, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 WP, 1 HBP. Catcher: Kris Jones.
Hillsboro hitting (ab-r-h-rbi): Kris Jones 2-2-0-0, Robert Verbic 4-1-1-0, Andy Brubacher 1-0-0-0, Corey Thiessen 3-0-0-0, Chase Freeborn 4-1-1-2, Layne Frick 3-1-0-0, Dustin Jost 1-0-0-0, Shawn Hughbanks 2-1-1-1, Jamey Cooper 3-1-0-0, Steven Chisholm 2-0-0-0, Graham Ratzlaff 1-1-0-0, Ben Walker 1-1-1-0, Jeremy Hanes 2-1-1-1. Totals: 29-10-5-4.