Trojans lose two to Halstead in regular-season finale

Hillsboro catcher David Dick tags out Halstead?s Gage Hardtarfer at the plate for the third out of the fourth inning of Game 1 of the May 12 doubleheader. Micah Allen earned the assist with a strong throw from center field. Phyllis Richert photo

The Hillsboro Trojans emerged from an early hole only to watch a potential upset slip through their fingers in a 16-9 loss to Halstead May 12 at Memorial Field.

Halstead (14-4) claimed the doubleheader sweep with an 11-1 run-rule victory while the Trojans ended their regular season with a 3-17 record.

In the opener, Halstead led 3-0 after one inning and 7-0 after two. But in the bottom of the third, Hillsboro erupted for six runs with a combination of four hits, two walks and a hit batter. Austin Cross drove in two runs with a double and Tyson Reimer drove in two with a single. Caleb Bettles chased home one run with a single.

Halstead came right back with a run in the bottom of the inning off starter Braden Vogt to bump the lead to 8-6.

But Hillsboro still had gas in the tank. Three more hits in the bottom of the fourth, including another two-run single by Reimer, vaulted Hillsboro into a 9-8 lead.

Seeing the opportunity for a win, coach Doug Dick brought in his pitching ace, Austin Cross. Unfortunately, it wasn?t the junior?s day.

Over the next 21?3 inning, the 6-foot-7 righthander posted five strikeouts, but gave up five runs on five hits, with two walks and four wild pitches. Jakob Hanschu took over with one out in the seventh. He surrendered two runs, but neither were earned, thanks to a pair of fielding errors.

Meanwhile, the Dragons brought in their ace pitcher, James Leitch-St. Cyr, in the fifth inning. The senior transfer shut down the Trojans without a hit and recorded seven strikeouts over the final three innings.

Cross (3-3) took the loss for Hillsboro.

Prior to the game Coach Doug Dick told his team that Halstead was planning to throw its No. 3, 4 and 5 pitchers against them.

?I told them our first goal is to make sure they have to throw their best (pitchers)?and we succeeded in that.?

In Game 2, Halstead started its No. 2 pitcher, who limited Hills?boro to five hits while striking out nine batters in a game that ended after five innings.

Hanschu (0-2) threw all five innings for Hillsboro. Only four of Halstead?s 11 runs were earned, thanks to three more Trojan errors?making it eight for the day.

?If we could have backed up our pitching with some defense, we would have come away with a win,? Dick said about the first game. ?We did score some runs; offensively, we did some things well.

?Game 2 was similar to Game 1 in one respect?we just didn?t play very solid defense,? he said. ?Take away the errors and it was maybe a two- or three-run ball game.?

Written By
More from Don Ratzlaff
Sechrist paces HHS at Hesston
The Hillsboro track and field team picked up three gold medals Friday...
Read More