Keep the victories coming

Pitching, defense send Hillman past Whittemore-Prescott

News Photo by James Andersen Hillman’s Nic Taratuta, right, slides into first base as Whittemore-Prescott pitcher Alex Yorton attempts a pickoff throw to first baseman Alex Mervyn during a baseball game at Hillman High School on Wednesday.

HILLMAN–The Hillman baseball team just keeps on winning.

Jared Juergens and Kyler Moir each had a solid outing on the mound and Hillman’s offense backed them up to top Whittemore-Prescott in a North Star League doubleheader on Wednesday, 4-0 and 10-3.

The Tigers have opened the season with eight consecutive victories and are 4-0 in league play.

“It’s a testament to the work ethic of this group of kids. It’s a unique group to us because from top to bottom we have guys that know each other, truly care about each other and work hard day in and day out,” Hillman coach Rick Firman said.

Moir was dialed in during the opener, fanning 13 batters while walking three and allowing just two hits.

Whittemore stranded a base runner in all but one inning and only had two players reach second base during the contest.

Leading 1-0 through two innings, Hillman scored three more runs in the third inning after Cam Koenig singled in Caine Hunt and Moir and Kory Henigan each scored on a passed ball.

Hillman’s other run came in the bottom of the first inning when Andrew Funk doubled to score Juergens.

Henigan had two hits for Hillman and Funk and Koenig each had a hit and an RBI.

The Tigers scored at least one run in every inning in the second game and scored three runs in both the first and fifth innings.

Koenig had two hits and two RBIs for Hillman and Funk and Hunt each had two hits and an RBI.

Juergens tossed a complete game, striking out 10, walking none and allowing three runs on seven hits.

Henigan, Hunt and Koenig all had RBI singles in the first inning to put Hillman ahead 3-0. Hillman added a run in each of the next two innings fate Nic Taratuta scored on a passed ball in the second inning and Koenig singled home Henigan in the third.

Izac Thompson had a two-out, two-run single in the fourth inning and Hillman added three more runs in the fifth, including an RBI single from Funk.

After scoring a run in the second inning and stranding two runners in two different innings, the Cardinals finally scored again in the top of the sixth inning. Whittemore took advantage of two Hillman errors to added a pair of runs with two outs before Juergens ended the game with his 10th strikeout.

“The execution outside of that last inning was remarkable again,” Firman said. “Defensively we’ve been good pretty much all year.”

Hillman heads to Beaverton this weekend for a tournament and is hoping to play some tough competition in preparation for the postseason.

“We really made an effort this year to go hunt for strong non-conference games,” Firman said. “We’re trying to get over that regional hump we’ve been on, so I think the way to do that is to get some experience early in the year playing some quality teams.”

James Andersen can be reached via email at sports@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5694. Follow James on Twitter @ja_alpenanews.