Walks lead to Collegiate sweep in opener


Tyler Ediger receives a well-executed pickoff throw from Jacob Edwards and catches a Collegiate baserunner who wandered far from the first base bag during Game 1.

Wichita Collegiate proved the baseball adage ?a walk is as good as a hit,? parlaying 17 free passes from Hillsboro pitchers into a sweep of a season-opening doubleheader for both teams Friday at Wichita.

The Spartans prevailed 11-5 and 6-5 even though the Trojans outhit the home team in both contests.

In Game 1, the Trojans jumped to a 1-0 lead when Daniel Jost doubled home Jacob Fish, who had singled ahead of him.

But in the bottom half of the inning, Hillsboro starter Jacob Edwards walked the first two batters he faced, then gave up a triple to Tyler Coughenour, who later scored on a passed ball.

In the second inning, Edwards walked three of the first four hitters he faced, then Coughenour blasted the ball over the centerfield fence in the face of a stiff wind for a grand slam home run.

The 7-1 deficit was more than the Trojans could overcome. Hillsboro added solo runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings but never really threatened the home team.

Edwards (0-1) lasted 21⁄3 innings, posting seven walks while striking out three batters. The southpaw allowed only three hits, but was charged with six earned runs.

Dylan Delk pitched the final 32⁄3 innings, allowing only two earned runs on six hits. He struck out one and walked one.

At the plate, Jost went 3-for-4, including a single, double and triple, with two runs batted in to pace Hillsboro?s 10-hit attack.

Collegiate, with nine hits, was paced by Coughenour, who completed the cycle?single, double, triple, home run?with six RBI.

In Game 2, Hillsboro jumped to a 4-1 lead with a three-run surge in the top of the second on RBI singles by Devin Funk and Jacob Fish.

The lead was still 4-2 when the Spartans broke loose for four runs in the bottom of the fourth. Hillsboro starter Isaac Leihy walked three of the first four batters he faced in the inning before being relieved by Tyler Ediger.

Another walk, a couple of errors and a single put Collegiate on top, 6-4. Hillsboro rallied for one run in the top of the seventh on a single by Fish and a double by Jost, but the Spartans struck out the next two Trojans to end the game.

Leihy (0-1) surrendered four hits and walked seven batters while striking out two in 31⁄3 innings. He was charged with only three earned runs thanks in part to four Trojan errors.

Ediger allowed no earned runs on one hit, walked two and struck out one in 22⁄3 innings.

At the plate, Funk and Edwards had a big game, each going 3-for-3. Fish, Jost and Aaron Bina chipped in two hits apiece to pace Hillsboro?s 13-hit attack.

Collegiate managed only six base hits.

Hillsboro coach Phil Oelke said he was pleasantly surprised by his team?s hitting and unpleasantly surprised by the pitching.

?We haven?t had a lot of opportunities to hit this spring just because of the weather situation,? he said. ?I know Collegiate hasn?t been outside a whole lot more than we have, but they have that indoor facility (for batting practice). That?s a nice bonus for them.

?I thought their pitchers threw pretty well, and we did hit the ball,? Oelke added. ?But it seemed like by the time we had base runners on, we had a couple of outs, so we weren?t able to do much in terms of small ball, or any kind of offensive pressure.?

Oelke said he was ?shocked? that his pitchers surrendered 17 walks.

?High school age kids aren?t always mentally tough,? he said. ?Kids are going to have to learn to fight through that. You can?t use excuses, you have to get the job done. If our pitching doesn?t improve, it?s going to be a long year. We?ve just got to work some things out a little bit more. I think we?ll be OK.?

Coming?The Trojans are scheduled to play a doubleheader at Marion Thursday with a 4:30 p.m. start.

They will make their home debut the following Tuesday with two games against Hoisington starting at 4:30 p.m.

The twinbill with Little River, originally scheduled for March 31, has now been rescheduled for May 4 following a second postponement to April 2.

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