Off and running: Govs run out of time after HVA’s big start
By Austin Bornheim | (email@example.com)
The game went seven innings, but Hardin Valley only needed the first to take care of William Blount.
On the strength of an eight-run first, the Hawks dropped the Governors, 10-7, Thursday night at Charlie Puleo Field.
“Unbelievable start to the game,” Hardin Valley head coach Kirk Renegar told The Daily Times. “Putting up an eight spot is a pretty big number.”
Hardin Valley’s first seven hitters reached base and the Hawks collected 10 hits to start the game.
“We really came out aggressive I feel like, and that’s Hardin Valley baseball,” catcher Sully Smoak said. “This year our offense hasn’t been as good as it has been in the past, but that is the way that we’re going to play. We’re going to jump on you early, get the early lead and if we don’t then we’re going to battle back.”
The Hawks pushed six runs across before the first outs were recorded on a double play. Hardin Valley would score the next two on a William Blount error.
Down but not out, the Governors (2-3) chipped away at the deficit throughout the game.
After scoring two in the second, one in the third and three in the fifth, William Blount had cut the Hawks’ lead down to 8-6 with two innings remaining.
“I told our guys ‘it’s a long game. You still have 21 outs left, lets chip away,’” William Blount head coach Justin Young said.
But the Hawks responded when they needed to, plating two insurance runs in the top of the sixth to solidify the lead.
“They made it a two run ballgame, but being able to push one across and then two to make it a grand slam ballgame was huge,” Renegar said. “It’s those little things that I hope that we can build off of as the season goes on.”
Hardin Valley starting pitcher Garrett Butler was able to battle through not having his self-proclaimed best pitch and notch the win for his team.
“Today I struggled with my curveball, but what saved me was being able to locate my fastball and change-up to keep them off balance,” Butler said.
Renegar was complimentary of the Govenors fight and ability to comeback after surrendering the early lead.
“They just kept battling where a lot of teams would have folded up shop and taken it on the chin, but they kept battling,” Renegar said.
Moving forward, Young hopes his team can learn and grow from the experience.
“I saw a lot of character in our guys today,” Young said. “We could have rolled over and quit, been out of here in an hour and a half and out of the cold, but we fought back and gave ourselves a chance. We just ran out of time at the end.”