Trojans split with Smoky Valley

Jacob Funk’s two-run, two-out single in the bottom of the seventh inning, lifted the Hills­­boro baseball team to a 7-6 win over Smoky Valley in the first game of their doubleheader May 9 at Memorial Field.

Smoky Valley came back to win the second game, 3-0, behind the three-hit pitching of Ben Weldy.

The split left Hillsboro with a 5-15 record for the season while Smoky Valley’s regular-season record stands at 5-14.

In the first game, the Trojans jumped on Smoky starter Austin Lustfield for three runs in the first inning. Kaden Kleiner reached on an error, stole second, then scored on a single by Braden Vogt. Brooks Gardner was hit by a pitch, advanced on a wild pitch and both runners scored on Jorge Hanschu’s double to left field.

The game was a low-scoring standoff until the top of the fifth, when the Vikings produced a three-run inning of their own against Kleiner, Hillsboro’s ace.

Smoky Valley scored single runs in the sixth and seven innings to put the Trojans in a 6-4 deficit in their last at-bat.

With one out, Tyson Reimer was hit by a pitch and advanced to second on a fielder’s choice ground ball by Kleiner. Caleb Potucek chased Reimer home with a double to left and Kleiner advanced to third.

After Vogt drew a walk to load the bases, Gardner struck out for the second out of the inning.

Funk then delivered his walk-off single to left, scoring Kleiner and Potucek for the victory.

Potucek, who threw the last two innings, earned the pitching win in relief of Kleiner.

The story in Game 2 was the pitching of Smoky Valley’s Ryan Weldy, who shut out the Trojans on three hits.

As it turned out, the Vikings got all the offense they needed in the first inning when Lustfield and Zach Able singled, then advanced on a ground out. A wild pitch by Hillsboro’s Vogt enabled Lustfield to score.

The Vikings then scored single runs in the second and sixth innings to secure the win.

Vogt pitched a strong game for Hillsboro despite the loss. The senior went the distance, scattering six hits while striking out six batters and walking none.