The Hillsboro Legion Post 366 baseball team played its final games of the season without a bench. But the nine who made the trip to Independence this weekend outperformed more than half of the participating team, placing fourth with a 2-2 record accrued Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Hillsboro defeated Marion 12-5 in the tournament opener behind a complete game start by Dylan Delk. Delk was given the ?WOW? defensive play award and Tyler Ediger was named Hillsboro?s ?MVP.? Matt Sprowls and Heath Hill, respectively, were Marion?s award-winners.
Seacat, Sprowls, Case and Heath Hill scored for Marion in the top of the first.
With Hillsboro trailing 4-3 in the fourth inning, Jacob Fish hit a 3-run home run in the fourth inning. Aaron Bina followed with a walk and made it 7-4 on a triple by Tyler Ediger, who was put out by Corey Seacat?s relay to the plate. Hillsboro scored five more runs in the fifth.
Wil Case scored Marion?s fifth run after singling in the top of the seventh, but Delk induced back-to-back flyouts to finish what he started. Heath Hill lasted four innings as Marion?s starter and was relieved by both Case and Sprowls in the fifth.
Marion was eliminated by Abilene via 11-1 loss in the first game Saturday. Sprowles was named ?MVP,? while Abe Eldridge was given the ?WOW.?
Columbus defeated Hillsboro 11-1 later on Saturday. Ediger started for Hillsboro and was relieved by Fish, but the Post 366 offense was stifled by a defense that allowed just four runs in the first three games of the tournament.
Chris Couts scored Hillsboro?s only run and was named ?MVP? while Rustyn Kerbs won the ?WOW? award.
Adam Matz started against and defeated Wellington by a 12-6 final score on Sunday. Fish was named ?MVP? and Bina received the ?WOW? award.
Fish staked Post 366 to a 1-0 lead with a leadoff walk and a stolen base setting up an RBI single by Matz. Matz helped his own cause again in the fourth, as Hillsboro piled up six runs to take a 9-4 lead.
Wellington rallied in the sixth, but fell short when a popup to center field led to the last out the inning being booked on the basepath between second and third. Matz worked a 1-2-3 seventh to finalize the victory.
Facing season-long nemesis Abilene Sunday night, Hillsboro turned to Ediger for the start. Ediger earned the ?WOW? but Abilene advanced with an 8-5 win. Fish was named ?MVP? for the second game in a row.
The nine participating Hillsboro players were: Bina, Chris Couts, Delk, Ediger, Fish, Devin Funk, Rustyn Kerbs, Matz and Cole Svoboda. The team went 17-7 in the regular season and finished 19-9.
Abilene played Galena for the right to face Columbus in the championship game Monday. A Columbus loss would force a 15th game to be played Tuesday.