HHS baseball secures regional first-round bye

The Hillsboro High baseball team won three of four games in back-to-back marathon doubleheaders last week to enter post-season play with the program?s best record since 2002 at 15-5.

Included in those wins was a 12-inning, 6-4 victory over Halstead last Monday. In Game 2, the two teams then played two extra innings before Halstead escaped with a 10-9 win.

The Trojans arrived home after midnight from that rescheduled outing, according to coach Phil Oelke. The next afternoon, they climbed back into the bus and swept a scheduled doubleheader at Haven, 16-10 and 6-4.

Those games went seven innings, but the bus didn?t pull into Hillsboro until 12:40 a.m.

?We were definitely in need of a day off,? coach Phil Oelke said later.

Halstead?Game 1 was a classic battle from the start as Hills?boro?s Dylan Delk and Halstead?s Collin Rupp locked up in a pitching duel.

Both teams scored a run in the second inning, then Halstead slipped in another one during the fifth. But Hillsboro tied the game in the top of the sixth when Jacob Edwards? single drove home Derek Kelsey, who had singled.

Still tied at 2-2 through seven innings, Hillsboro took a one-run lead in the eighth and 10th only to have Halstead tie the score in the bottom of each inning.

The pattern finally broke in the 12th when Hillsboro scored twice. Devin Funk drew a walk to lead off. Two outs later, Daniel Jost walked and Tyler Ediger stroked a base hit that the right-fielder misplayed, allowing both runners to cross the plate.

Jost, who relieved Delk after seven innings, nailed down the victory with 1-2-3 outs. His five-inning stint on the mound earned the Trojan shortstop his first pitching victory of the season. The senior allowed two unearned runs on four hits, while striking out five and walking one.

Delk pitched effectively in his seven innings, giving up only two earned runs while scattering nine hits and four walks. He struck out two hitters.

In Game 2, Halstead took a 4-1 lead through three innings before Hillsboro erupted for eight runs in the top of the fourth with the help of six walks. Edwards? base-loaded, three-run double was the Trojans? only hit in the inning.

But the Dragons roughed up Jacob Fish, making a rare pitching appearance, for five runs in the bottom of the inning to tie the game at 9-9.

After the wild fourth, both teams changed pitchers and goose eggs followed until the bottom of the ninth, when the Dragons scored on a double and a two-out single to end the contest.

That was the only run Ediger allowed in six strong innings of relief. He scattered five hits, walked one and struck out five as his record fell to 2-1.

Freshman Luke Moore started the game for Hillsboro; only one of the four runs he allowed was earned.

Hillsboro managed only five hits in the game.

Haven?Offense dominated the first game of the doubleheader on Tuesday, but strong pitching held the upperhand in the nightcap.

In Game 1, Hillsboro led 9-0 after its first two at-bats, cashing in on eight walks and four hits?a double by Jacob Edwards, two singles by Aaron Bina and one by Chris Couts.

With the score 10-3 through four innings, the Trojans pushed across three more runs in the fifth, combining three walks with hits by Derek Kelsey and Ben Bebermeyer.

Haven closed the gap to 13-10 with one run in the fifth and a six-run eruption in the sixth. The latter was fueled by six walks, with a grand slam home run by Ben Headings.

Hillsboro added three more runs in the seventh with Beber?meyer, Edwards and Daniel Jost contributing doubles for the 16-10 final score.

Coach Phil Oelke sent five pitchers to the hill. Starter Aaron Bina (2-0), who allowed one unearned run in his 32⁄3 innings, was awarded the victory.

Jost pitched two scoreless innings at the end of the game to earn a save.

In Game 2, Edwards allowed only one run through six innings to help take the Trojans to a 6-1 lead.

After Haven scored in the opening inning, the Trojans tied the game in the second, then scored two runs in the third inning and three in the fourth. Five Haven errors aided the cause in the latter two innings.

The Wildcats made the game interesting in the bottom of the seventh with three unearned runs off Tyler Ediger. Haven managed only one hit off the junior, but two Trojan errors opened the gate for the late rally.

Edwards improved to 4-2 for the season. Seven walks marred an otherwise stellar performance as the junior left-hander allowed only two hits and recorded eight strikeouts.

He also contributed two of Hills?boro?s six hits on offense.

Regionals?Hillsboro parlayed its 15-5 record into a No. 1 seed in this week?s regional tournament at Memorial Field.

The Trojans were awarded a bye on Monday to improve to 16-5. They were scheduled to play the winner of Monday?s first-round game between fourth-seeded Southeast of Saline (6-11) and fifth-seeded Burlington (7-13) at 2 p.m. Tuesday.

If the Trojans won that semifinal game, they played for a berth in the Class 3A state tournament in the regional championship game at 7 p.m.

For a report of those games, go to hillsborofree?press.com.

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