Hillman baseball splits with Cardinals

News Photo by Jonny Zawacki Hillman’s Gage Steinke attempts to lay down a bunt during the fifth inning in game one of a North Star League doubleheader against Whittemore-Prescott on Thursday at Hillman High School.

HILLMAN — It was a tale of two completely different games for the Hillman baseball team on Thursday as the Tigers split a North Star League doubleheader against Whittemore-Prescott, losing game one 12-1 and hanging on to win the nightcap 6-4.

The Tigers couldn’t get much going at the plate in game one and Hillman struggled in the field and put together a sloppy performance in a lopsided loss.

The Tigers were held hitless through the first two innings and had just one baserunner. Hillman ran into trouble early when errors cost it a pair of runs in the top of the second inning as Whittemore capitalized scoring two runs in the second and one in the third to take a lead.

Hillman had an opportunity to cut into the lead in the home half of the third inning when Brady Firman led off with a double deep to right field. Two batters later, Nash Steinke reached on an error. Firman advanced to third and Steinke went to second with one out, but the next two Hillman batters were retired and the Tigers failed to cash in.

The Cardinals added two more runs in the fourth to extend the lead to 5-0 and Hillman crossed the plate for the first and only time in the game when Jaden Dove hit a leadoff single in the bottom of the fifth inning and came around to score on an RBI groundout from Gage Steinke later in the frame.

Whittemore responded in a big way and blew the game wide open as it put together a seven-run sixth inning to take a 12-1 lead and held on to win by that score.

The Tigers were held to six hits in the game. Firman, Dove, Nash Steinke, Isaac Morrison, Cam Koenig and Aden Sobeck each collected a hit apiece in the game one loss.

Isaac Morrison took the mound in game two and despite giving up a run in the top of the first inning, Morrison and the Tigers settled in after that.

Hillman answered with three runs in the home half of the first to take the lead and scored three more in the second to take a 6-1 lead.

The Tigers held the five run lead until the fifth inning when Whittemore added a run and the Cardinals did everything they could to claw their way back, scoring two more in the sixth inning, but Hillman found a way to hang on the avenge the game one loss.

Morrison pitched all six innings and struck out five batters and earned the win.

At the plate, eight of the nine starters for Hillman collected a hit in the win.

Gage Steinke scored two runs and Nash Steinke, Koenig, Sobeck and Dove each scored a run. Koenig and Kory Henigan also added an RBI in the winning effort.