ORIGINALLY WRITTEN TOM STOPPEL
American Legion Post 366 dropped a pair of games to Manhattan Post 17 Thursday, 15-0 in four innings and 14-6 in six innings.
It was evident early that Hillsboro (0-6) didn’t bring its “A” game to Memorial Field, given the numerous errors that were committed.
“Part of losing is you get used to it and accept it, and we need to get past the hurdle of compounding things when we have something go against us,” manager Lyman Adams said. “I don’t think we came to play, especially in the first game.”
Manhattan managed a run on two walks and a triple in the first inning before exploding for a seven-run second inning.
In that fateful inning, Hillsboro committed four errors, starting pitcher Chad Hughbanks issued three walks and Manhattan needed only three hits as Post 17 jumped to an 8-0 lead.
Manhattan added a single tally in the third on a hit, a walk and a sacrifice before salting away the victory with six runs in the fourth inning.
In the sixth, Manhattan combined four hits, a walk and a hit batter to go up 15-0.
Hillsboro, meanwhile, scratched out just one hit, a leadoff double by Tyler Goldsby.
Hughbanks (0-1) took the loss.
“We were shorthanded in the pitching staff after our two games on Tuesday,” Adams said. “We had to throw some people who hadn’t thrown in awhile and their rustiness showed.”
In Game 2, Justin Moore got the start for Hillsboro and found early trouble.
In the first inning, Moore issued two walks and hit a batter to load the bases before Tyler Wolters knocked a two-run single to put Manhattan on top 2-0.
The score moved to 3-0 in the second inning when Moore walked the leadoff hitter, who came around to score on a single by Josh Peloquin.
In the third inning, a Hillsboro error coupled with two walks and a fielder’s choice bumped the score to 5-0.
Hillsboro broke its scoring drought in the third inning when Goldsby singled, stole second and scored on a single by Jared Fish to cut the lead to 5-1.
Manhattan got the run right back in the fourth inning, though, courtesy of a pair of singles and another error.
Adams replaced Moore for the top of the fifth with Lucas Hamm, but Hamm had difficulty finding the strike zone. He issued four walks and a double before being replaced by Michael Bookless.
Bookless proved equally ineffective, walking all three hitters he faced as Manhattan opened a 12-1 lead before Fish came on in relief to record the final two outs of the inning.
Hillsboro finally found some offense in the fifth inning as Bookless led off with a single and Daniel Berg and Alex Nuss walked to load the bases with no outs. Goldsby followed with a sharp single to score two runs and cut the lead to 12-3.
One out later, Hughbanks drove home a run on a fielder’s choice before Derek Hamm singled to drive in Goldsby and whittle the lead to 12-5.
Manhattan added a pair of runs off Fish in the sixth without a hit. Fish hit two batters, Hillsboro committed another error followed by a pair of ground outs to give Manhattan a 14-5 lead.
Hillsboro managed a run in the sixth. Daniel Berg was hit in the head by a pitch, forcing him to leave the game. But pinch-runner Brett McIntosh scored on a Manhattan error to account for the final 14-6 score.
Moore (0-1) took the loss, allowing five hits, walking eight and hitting one batter in four innings of work.
Hillsboro, who had only five hits, fell to 0-6 for the season.
“We’re in a hitting slump, but it seems like even when we hit the ball hard, it’s right at someone,” Adams said. “We’re trying to get our swing down and get some consistency.
“I told the kids we can be a good team if we mentally are ready to play ball,” he said. “We’re not super talented, so we have to play harder and smarter than the other team-that’s just kind of where we’re at.”
Lyons-Hillsboro Post 366 dropped a pair of home games Tuesday, May 7, against Lyons.
Although Hillsboro showed signs of improvement from its opening losses to Peabody, it absorbed another doubleheader sweep, 11-7 and 6-2.
In the opener, Michael Bookless was the starting pitcher for Hillsboro and Kevin Sechrist for Lyons.
Hillsboro drew blood first in its first at-bat when Jared Fish, who reached on a fielder’s choice, stole second base and scored on a throwing error on a ball off the bat of Chad Hughbanks.
Hillsboro stretched the lead to 2-0 in the second when Bookless singled and scored on a triple to right field by Matt Brown.
But Lyons countered in the top of the third inning, scoring four runs on two hits and two walks.
Tyler Viramontez, who belted a grand slam off Hillsboro Trojan pitching this spring, proved his blast was no fluke by crushing a three-run homer in the inning.
Hillsboro got one run back in the bottom of the inning when Fish reached on a bunt single and eventually scored on a wild pitch to cut the lead to 4-3.
After Lyons added a fifth run in the fourth on a walk, stolen base and two sacrifices, neither team scored again until the bottom of the sixth.
That’s when Hillsboro finally chased Sechrist. Justin Moore was hit by a pitch, Bookless singled and Derek Hamm walked to load the bases with nobody out.
Viramontez took over for Lyons and walked Alex Nuss to drive home Hillsboro’s fourth run.
After Lucas Hamm struck out for the first out of the inning, Viramontez surrendered back-to-back singles by Tyler Goldsby and Fish to give Hillsboro a 6-5 lead.
Lyons averted further damage when Viramontez induced Hughbanks to ground into an inning-ending double play.
Needing three outs for the win, Bookless walked the leadoff hitter before retiring the next batter on a fly ball. Bookless then gave up consecutive singles to load the bases before a fielding error by Hughbanks allowed one run to score to tie the game at 6.
After Bookless walked the next batter to drive home the go-ahead run, manager Lyman Adams replaced Bookless with Kyle Jilka.
Jilka struck out the first hitter he faced before getting the next batter to hit a ground ball to second base for what would have been the last out of the inning. But Moore misplayed the ball, allowing two runs to cross the plate and put Lyons ahead 9-6.
The next batter cleared the bases with a two-run double and Lyons owned an 11-6 lead through 61/2 innings.
Jilka walked to lead off the seventh and scored on a single by Derek Hamm, but that was all the scoring Hillsboro managed.
Bookless (0-1) took the loss, allowing seven hits while walking five and striking out two.
Offensively, Hillsboro knocked out 10 hits.
In Game 2, Derek Hamm got the start. Lyons broke through in the third inning, scoring two runs on a hit, a walk and an error.
The score moved to 4-0 in the fourth inning as Lyons scored twice on one hit and two errors.
Brown replaced Hamm in the fifth and retired the opening hitter before issuing three consecutive walks to load the bases. Lyons scored one run to lead 5-0 before Jared Fish came on to strike out the final hitter of the inning.
Hillsboro broke the shutout in the sixth as Fish singled, stole second, moved to third on a balk and scored on a single by Hughbanks to cut the lead to 5-1.
Lyons added an insurance run in the seventh on a hit batter and a fielding error.
Hillsboro managed one run in the seventh when Nuss reached on an interference call and scored on a Bookless single, but the final score was 6-2.
Derek Hamm (0-1) took the loss, allowing just two hits in four innings.
Hillsboro scratched out only four hits in the loss as they fell to 0-4.
Coming-Hillsboro was scheduled to travel to McPherson last night (Tuesday) before hosting Peabody on Thursday at Memorial Field.