Bouncing back from a freakish 22-18 loss to Thomas More Prep in the Class 3A state baseball semifinals Saturday morning in Manhattan, Hillsboro bounced back to opening day form with a 10-0 run-rule win over Douglass in a five-inning game for third place.
Junior right-hander Dylan Delk pitched a five-inning shutout against Douglass after being bounced out of the semi?final game in the second inning only a few hours earlier.
?I just came out throwing the same pitches,? Delk said of his effort. ?I was just getting the (strike) calls at the knees.?
Hillsboro scored at least one run in every inning. Jacob Edwards opened the scoring, coming home on an Aaron Bina single to for a 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the second, Derek Kelsey scored on an error by Douglass third-baseman Ajay Shenold to send Hillsboro into the third inning up 2-0. Tyler Ediger smacked a solo home run to left field in the bottom of the third to widen the lead to 3-0.
A four-run burst in the bottom of the fourth, and a three-run fifth inning propelled the Trojans to the double-digit win.
Jacob Fish started the scoring burst with a single that scored Kelsey, then scored on a hit by Edwards in the next at bat.
Ediger then added two RBIs to his game total, driving home Edwards and Aaron Wintermote to end the fourth with a 7-0 advantage for the Trojans.
Hillsboro scored another run in the bottom of the fifth before the game ended on a two-run single by Bina that scored Devin Funk and Edwards.
?They were determined to have something happen today,? coach Doug Dick said of his team. ?They knew we could have beat any of these teams playing today. It just didn?t go our way (in the semifinals).?
For the Trojans, the third-place finish was bittersweet.
?It feels pretty good, especially coming back from last year, where we got beat right away (in the first round),? said Funk, one of four seniors on the team. ?It?s not what we wanted, but it?s still good.?
?Last year when we made it there we didn?t know what to expect?none of us had been here before,? Delk added. ?So, this year coming in we knew what to expect. We were more prepared and we?re looking forward to next year.?
Hillsboro finished the season with an 18-8 record. Edwards, Ediger, Fish and Funk closed out their high school years with the win.
Semifinals vs. TMP
Exploding for eight first-inning runs, Hillsboro jumped to an 11-0 advantage over Thomas More Prep in the 10 a.m. game on Saturday, before watching their lead morph into a 22-18 loss that took three hours to complete.
Starting the second inning with the 11-0 bulge, starting pitcher Dylan Delk saw pitches that had been called for strikes in the first inning now called balls by the home-plate umpire.
?I think the strike zone shrunk a lot,? Delk said. ?I wasn?t getting the calls at the knees.?
?There was no strike zone,? coach Doug Dick said. ?It was the worst officiated game I have been in this season.?
TMP scored 12 runs on four hits, with several runs coming as the result of walks.
?It was very frustrating, going from 8-0 to 12-11 and having to fight back constantly,? Funk said.
Despite his frustration, Dick didn?t blame the officiating for the loss.
?That?s what life gives you sometimes,? he said. ?You?ve got to bounce back. The strike zone was tough for them, too, so it was a two-way street. We didn?t make the plays we had to.?
Funk was a bright spot in the game, continuing to produce as the ninth hitter in the lineup. Funk had two base hits with four RBIs. ?I just do what I try to do all the time,? he said. ?I do what I can to get on base, and it happens.?
With the win, TMP advanced to the championship game where they lost to Galena, 10-0.
First round vs. Wellsville
Returning to the state tournament loose and confident on Friday afternoon, Hillsboro jumped to a 4-0 lead in the first inning and were never really threatened in their 11-0 run-rule opening victory over Wells?ville.
Lead-off hitter Jacob Fish set the tone, starting the game with a single. Jacob Edwards followed with a double and Aaron Bina was hit by a pitch to load the bases with nobody out.
Fish then scored on a Wellsville error on a ball hit by Tyler Ediger. Ben Gardner forced Ediger at second, but a wild throw on the double-play attempt enabled Lucas Sinclair, pinch-running for Edwards, and Bina to score. Gardener later scored on a single by Dylan Delk.
With Edwards tossing a four-hitter with seven strikeouts, the four runs were more than enough runs support for the senior left-hander.
But the Trojan bats weren?t satisfied. In the second, HHS added a run when Bina reached on an infield single, advanced to second on a balk by pitcher Shane Pokorney, then ran home when a high pop-up by Ediger fell between the Eagle infielders for a single.
The Trojans put the game away with three more runs in the fourth, highlighted by RBI hits by Ediger and Gardner.
Hillsboro?s final three runs came in the fifth on a double by Luke Moore, an error on a ball hit by Funk, a single by Fish, another error on a ball hit by Edwards, a sacrifice fly by Bina and a single by Ediger.
Wellsville got a runner as far as third only one time in the game as Edwards kept the Eagles grounded all afternoon.