HHS baseball sweeps Nickerson

Hillsboro pinch runner Ben Koop dives back to first on a pick-off attempt during the first game of last Tuesday?s doubleheader at Nickerson. He was safe on the play.Hillsboro swept a pair of 5-4 games at Nickerson April 8 to improve its record to 3-1.
In Game 1, sophomore right-hander Austin Cross threw five innings of one-hit baseball to help build a 4-1 lead.
The Trojans, who have been scoring their runs in bunches this season, broke a scoreless tie with a four-run fourth inning.
With one out, Cross was hit by a pitch. After David Dick walked, both runners advanced on a passed ball. Justus Hilliard chased them home with a triple to right field, then scored on Dylan Nelson?s single. Micah Allen?s double drove in Nelson.
Cross allowed his only hit and only run in the bottom of the fourth, then completed his day?s work with his 11th strikeout of the game. He walked only two.
But the Panthers touched freshman reliever Braden Vogt for three runs in their next at-bat to tie the game.

Hillsboro scored the winning run in the seventh on back-to-back doubles by Cody Delk and Jordan Faul.
Dick paced the Trojans? 10-hit attack with three hits and a walk in three official at-bats.
Delk (1-0) picked up the pitching victory in relief of Vogt. He forced a pop out against the first batter he faced with two outs in the sixth. In the seventh, he hit the first batter he faced. But Dick, the catcher, threw out the runner on a steal attempt. Delk then retired the next two batters on a fly ball and a pop up.
In Game 2, Hillsboro broke a 1-1 tie with another four-run burst?this time in the second inning. Two walks and two Nick?erson errors set up the big hit of the inning, a two-run double by Delk that chased home Vogt and Allen.
Dylan Nelson limited the Panthers to single runs in the first, second and third innings on the way to posting his second win of the season. Only two runs were earned.

The sophomore right-hander struck out three batters and walked two.

Faul pitched the final three innings to earn a save. He allowed only one unearned run on four hits.
Allen and Faul each contributed three hits to Hills?boro?s eight-hit performance.
Coach Doug Dick was pleased with the sweep?his first against the Panthers as a head coach?even though he thought his team didn?t play that well.
?We?re still making young-team mistakes in some places, but overall to be 3-1 at this point is (a solid start),? he said.
He praised the pitching performances of Cross, Delk, Nelson and Jordan, but is looking for more consistency from the offense.
?We?re very up and down as far as our hitting goes,? he said. ?We got better (against Nickerson), but we still only produced five runs in each game.
?We?ll have a great inning, but we don?t put people away. We don?t seem to remember what worked the last time we were at the plate.?
Coming?The Trojans, particularly the pitching staff, faces a scheduling challenge this week with a doubleheader at Smoky Valley Tuesday followed by a home doubleheader against Kingman Thursday.
The starting time for the Kingman games has been changed from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. to accommodate music festival participants.

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