Hillsboro splits two with Halstead

Hillsboro?s Cody Delk begins his dive into home during the first inning of the first game against Halstead. Delk scored on the play after getting on base when he was hit by a pitch. Hillsboro won the opener 12-10.Hillsboro survived a late home-team rally to hold off Halstead 12-10 in the first game of their doubleheader Friday.

But the Dragons, behind the pitching of Joseph Stovall, came back to defeat the Trojans 10-2 in the nightcap.

With the split, the Trojans head into the final week of the regular season with a 12-4 record.

In the opener, the Trojans got off to a shaky start when the Dragons turned two hits and a Hillsboro error into a 4-1 lead against Trojan ace Austin Cross.

But Cross shut down the Dragons over the next three innings, and Hillsboro chipped away at the lead until a single by Micah Allen and a double by Cody Delk put the Trojans on top 5-4.

Hillsboro appeared to charge with four more runs in the fifth, two in the sixth and one in the top of the seventh for a 12-6 lead.

But the Dragons caught fire with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning, stringing together three consecutive singles and a double. A fourth single one out later closed the margin to 12-10 before Cross got the final out on a ground ball.

Cross (3-1) went the distance for Hillsboro, striking out 11 batters and allowing only four earned runs.

In the second game, Halstead scored an error-aided run in the first inning off Dylan Nelson. The score remained 1-0 until the bottom of the fourth, when the Dragons scored five runs on one hit and three Trojan errors.

Braden Vogt came in to relieve Nelson (4-2) in the fifth and pitched the last two innings.

Hillsboro scored once in the sixth, but Halstead responded with a four-run burst to put the game away.

Haven?Solid pitching and error-free defense propelled the Trojans to a 10-0, 9-2 sweep of a young Haven squad last Tues?day at Memorial Field.

Coach Doug Dick rested his No. 1 and 2 starters, but the Trojans didn?t skip a beat on the mound.

Senior Jordan Faul (1-1) fired a two-hit, five-inning shutout in the first game.

?That was by far one of the best games I?ve seen Jordan pitch,? coach Doug Dick said. ?He was hitting spots and had seven strikeouts and no walks.?

Junior Jakob Han?schu followed in Game 2 with a four-hit, two-run effort over 41?3 innings to earn his first win of the season. Freshman Braden Vogt pitched 22?3 innings of scoreless relief.

?I was extremely pleased with his outing on the mound,? Dick said of Han?schu. ?He walked the first batter on four pitches, but after that he settled down.

?And Braden gave us a strong spot performance.?

Offensively, the Trojans started slowly in Game 1 on the way to a run-rule victory. Leading 1-0 after two innings, Hillsboro scored three times in the third, fueled by three walks and only one base hit.

The Trojans blew the game open with five runs in the fourth inning, mixing two walks with singles by Micah Allen, Cody Delk and Austin Cross.

In Game 2, the Trojans set the tone early by scoring four runs in their first at-bat. Singles by Delk and Dylan Nelson, combined with two walks and two Haven errors, fueled the surge. Hillsboro led 7-0 after four innings.

For the day, the Trojans scored 19 runs with only nine base hits. Haven pitchers combined for 13 walks and the Trojans successfully stole 13 bases.

?We weren?t stellar at the plate the whole night, but we got the job done,? Dick said. ?We were smarter than we have been. Some guys walked when they needed to draw walks. So we?re progressing in that area.

?The biggest thing was that we were able to score some runs against some decent pitching?not great, but decent. And my pitchers performed very well.?

Coming?The Trojans were scheduled to host Lyons in the regular-season finale at Memorial Field.

Next week, the Trojans enter Class 2-1A regional play hosted by Canton-Galva. Games will be played in Galva. The seedings will be posted at hillsborofreepress.com as soon as they become available.

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