Hillman baseball takes third in home invite
By JONNY ZAWACKI
News Sports Writer
HILLMAN – After succeeding early season expectations, the Hillman baseball team was tested over the weekend in their annual home tournament.
“It was a nice two games against good competition and when you get to play good competition and play them close that makes you feel good and we’re young, we’re gaining more experience as we go and to see us play two tight games and come out with one win is very encouraging. I’m very proud of how we’ve been playing and how we continue to develop,” Hillman coach Rick Firman said.
The Tigers took on Ogemaw-Heights in game on and eventually fell by a score of 3-1.
Both teams struggled to get anything going offensively in the early stages of the game and Hillman’s Kyler Moir looked strong early on the mound and pitched a complete game, but was the eventual tough luck loser in this one.
Ogemaw scored the games first run on a single to leadoff the fifth inning and followed it up with two more singles to take a one run lead late.
Hillman quickly responded with a run of their own in the bottom half of the inning when Andrew Funk came across to score on an error to tie the game at one run apiece.
The Falcons took advantage of some Hillman miscues in the top of the sixth inning to take the lead, adding two key runs late.
Hillman went down in order in the bottom of the sixth and later went on to play Whittemore-Prescott in the consolation game.
The Tigers were able to come away victorious, this time winning a close one by a final score of 4-3.
The Cardinals took an early lead, scoring two quick runs off of Hillman starting pitcher Jared Juergens. Whittemore scored two runs on two hits in the first inning to jump out to an early lead, but Juergens and the Tigers quickly settled down and clawed their way back into the game.
Kory Henigan reached on an error to start off the top of the second inning, stole a base and later came around to score on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Caine Hunt.
The Tigers tied the game two innings later as Henigan reached on another error to lead off the fourth and later scored on a wild pitch.
Whittemore was able to quickly regain the lead and took advantage of a few errors to score their third run of the game.
Hillman took their first lead of the game and was able to keep it. Senior Dylan Steinke led off the fifth inning with a double and later scored on an RBI from Moir. The Cardinals committed a few costly errors of their own in the inning and Moir later scored on a single from Bubba Banks who had a solid day at the plate and in the field, laying out and making a diving catch, while throwing out a runner at the plate.
After the Tigers took the lead, Juergens made sure the lead would remain as he retired the next six batters he faced, striking out two in the final two innings to secure the win for Hillman.
“Hopefully the more tight games we are in, the more relaxed we’ll become in those situations. The more adversity we play under it, the more used to it we’ll become. In baseball you want to be relaxed and we’ve got a lot of young guys on this team that seem to be getting more relaxed and more confident with each and every game. We will continue to learn and by the end of the season I think that we will be a very good baseball team” Firman said.
Hillman is currently 8-4 overall and will be back in action today when they play host to Tawas.