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Hillman baseball shuts out Owls, stays perfect in league play

HILLMAN – Pitching was the key to victory for the Hillman baseball team on Tuesday as the Tigers shut out Oscoda twice en route to sweeping a North Star League doubleheader, 2-0 and 4-0.

Kyler Moir took the mound in game one and continued his superb start to the season as he pitched a complete game shutout to pick up the win. Moir struck out nine batters, while allowing just four hits and walking one to lead Hillman to a victory.

The Tigers opened the scoring in the bottom half of the first inning when Dylan Steinke drew a leadoff walk and later advanced to third base on an errant pickoff attempt. A few pitches later Steinke scored on a throw down to first after a strikeout to give Hillman an early one run lead and all the runs it needed behind a dominant outing from Moir.

Bubba Banks reached on a one out single in the bottom of the second inning, stole second base and later came into score the game’s final run on a wild pitch.

The Tigers were held to just two hits in the game coming off the bats of Banks and Trenton Hopp, but Hillman played solid defensively, ran the bases well and took advantage of a few costly Oscoda mistakes.

“Our pitching has been good, but we couldn’t string enough hits together and I told the boys until we start hitting we have to play nearly perfect defensively and that wasn’t the case tonight. We are missing the fastball and we’re not seeing the curveball very well, but hopefully we’ll be able to turn it around,” Oscoda coach Scott Lueck said.

Jared Juergens toed the rubber for Hillman in game two and tossed a complete game shutout of his own, fanning seven Oscoda batters, while allowing just two hits and walked two to lead the Tigers. Juergens was able to work his way out of a bases loaded jam in the first inning and didn’t experience much trouble the rest of the game.

Hillman opened the scoring in the third inning when Steinke and Juergens ripped back-to-back one out singles. Both later came around to score on two Oscoda errors and the Tigers held a two-run lead after three innings.

Caine Hunt led off the home half of the fourth inning with a single, stole second base and came around to score on a safety squeeze bunt layed down by Cam Koenig.

Hillman scored the game’s final run in the bottom of the fifth inning when Moir led off with a single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from Hopp. Kory Henigan singled to set runners up at the corners with one out and Banks hit a sacrifice fly to score Moir.

Offensively, the Tigers collected eight hits led by Hunt who was 2-for-3 with a stolen base and a run scored. Moir also went 2-for-3 with a run scored and Steinke, Juergens, Henigan and Banks each had a hit apiece.

“We had two good pitchers on the mound today and we were able to limit the walks and play good defense which was key. We were able to put pressure on Oscoda by executing on the bases and getting a couple bunts down to manufacture enough runs to win two league games and you can’t be upset with that,” Hillman coach Rick Firman said.

Oscoda falls to 3-5 overall and will look to bounce back today when it hosts Atlanta.

The Tigers improve to 6-2 overall and remain a perfect 4-0 in league play. Hillman will be in action on Thursday at Fairview.

Jonny Zawacki can be reached via email at jzawacki@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5690.