Legion Post 366 added two more wins to an impressive season resume against Herington Thursday at Memorial Field. Hillsboro edged the visitors 6-3 in the first game and hammered Herington 14-1 in the second game.
Brian Fruechting worked a perfect top of the first and Hillsboro jumped on a 1-0 lead in the bottom half. Brian Palermo thumped a 2-out triple into deep right field and Travis Riesen drove him in with a single through shortstop.
The score remained unchanged despite a shaky situation in the top of the third. Herington loaded the bases, only to have Fruechting notch three straight strikeouts after a mound visit by coach Tim Hein.
Hillsboro doubled its lead when Calvin Jeffrey scored on Fruechting?s bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the third.
Aided by some sloppy fielding, Herington tied it at 2-2 in the fourth on a single by Marshall Ragland. But Ragland was caught stealing second on the back end of a strike-’em-out-throw-’em-out double play to end the Herington half. With the bottom third of the order setting the table,
Hillsboro scored three back-breaking runs its half. Palermo drove in two with a blast that ricocheted off the fence in right-center.
Fruechting then stifled Herington in the fifth and Jeffrey pitched the sixth and the seventh to pick up the 6-out save.
Fruechting struck out nine in five innings and has not allowed an earned run in the last 21 innings pitched?a streak that spans four games.
Tyler Ediger started the second game. Herington loaded the bases against him twice in the first two innings, but scored only one run.
Legion Post 366 meanwhile scored six runs in the bottom of the first and never trailed in the contest.
Palermo was up to his usual tricks, bashing a 1-out single to score Jeffrey and plating the 3-0 run on a passed ball during Fruechting?s plate appearance.
Fruechting walked and scored on a fielder?s choice.
Hillsboro sent 10 batters to the plate in the bottom of the second, scored four runs?two of them unearned?to stake Ediger to a 10-1 lead.
Palermo slugged a 2-run single?he totaled five RBI on the night?and that was plenty, as Ediger found a groove en route to putting out nine of the next 10 Herington hitters.
Coming?Marion hosts district tournament play this weekend, with Legion Post 366 set to meet Salina Friday evening and the winner of Abilene/Hesston on Saturday.