HHS wins season opener 6-4


Jacob Edwards beats a pickoff attempt to the first base bag early in Hillsboro?s 6-4 win over Collegiate. Edwards capped off a strand of four straight base hits that equalized the game at 2-2, keeping starter Isaac Leihy in the game. Edwards scored an insurance run late in the contest.

Hillsboro?s young baseball team started its season with an unexpected 6-4 win over Wichita Collegiate on Friday at Memorial Field.

Collegiate came back to win the nightcap, 13-5.

The difference between the two games was pitching. In the opener, junior left-hander Isaac Leihy (1-0) went the complete seven innings for the Trojans, scattering nine hits, walking only two while striking out six.

In Game 2, a cadre of four Trojans hurlers combined to allow one fewer hit than Leihy, but walked 18 batters, including 10 by starter Jacob Edwards (0-1) through 11⁄3 innings.

In the opener, Collegiate jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first as the first four batters touched Leihy for two hits, a walk and a sacrifice fly. But Leihy settled down after that and allowed only single runs in the third and seventh innings.

Meanwhile, Hillsboro tied the game in the bottom of the second inning when, with two outs, Devin Funk, Dylan Delk and Edwards stroked consecutive singles with an assist from Spartan fielding error.

Trailing 3-2 in the bottom of the fifth, Hillsboro rallied for three runs to take the lead for good. Edwards led off with a single, then scored when Fish reached on an error by the shortstop. Daniel Jost then singled to drive home Fish and eventually scored when Funk singled with two outs.

Hillsboro added an insurance run in the sixth. Edwards, who went 3-for-4 for the game, led off again with a single. After Fish struck out, Jost walked and Leihy delivered a single that scored Edwards.

Collegiate rallied in the top of the seventh with two outs, stringing together three consecutive singles before Leihy got the final out on a fly ball to right.

?Leihy threw really well?that was probably the saving grace for us,? coach Phil Oelke said. ?About the third inning he started throwing his off-speed pitches a little better, so we were able to start some batters off that way with a strike.?

In Game 2, Collegiate jumped to a 5-0 lead without a base hit through the first two innings as Edwards walked 10 of the 14 batters he faced. With one out in the second and the bases loaded, freshman Matt Martin relieved him and limited the damage.

After Collegiate went up 6-0 in the third on a Trojan fielding error followed by a triple by Clint Cornejo, Hillsboro rallied in the home half of the inning with four runs.

With two outs and Jost on first, Aaron Bina chased him home with a single, Mitchell Koop followed with an infield hit, and then both scored on some faulty fielding by Collegiate. Funk walked, advanced on another error and then scored Hillsboro?s fourth run on a base hit by Delk.

Collegiate expanded its 6-4 lead with a run in the fourth, three in the fifth, two in sixth and a final run in the seventh.

With Hillsboro trailing 13-4 in its final at-bat, Edwards led off with a walk and eventually scored on a two-out single by Leihy for the Trojans final run.

?We walked a ton of guys and didn?t work runners very well, so they ended up with eight stolen bases or so and we had three balks,? Oelke said. ?That gives us a pretty good picture where we?re at and some things we need to work on.

?Collegiate wasn?t quite as strong as I thought they?d be,? he added. ?But we?ll certainly take a split with those guys and be happy about that.?

Oelke said the surprise of the early season is that the league seems to have more parity than he expected.

?At this point there really isn?t a dominant team in the league,? he said.

?If we can keep guys healthy, get some guys to develop a little bit and gain some confidence in themselves on the mound, we might be better off than I thought we would be.

Coming?Hillsboro was scheduled to play a doubleheader Tuesday at Nickerson on Tuesday, then will travel to Marion for a pair of games on Friday beginning at 4:30 p.m. Next Tuesday the Trojan host Halstead for a twinbill at 4:30.

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