Hawks end Jeeps’ baseball run


LANCASTER — The Hiland Hawks erupted for seven runs in the top of the seventh inning on Thursday, putting an end to South Webster’s bid in the Division IV regional semifinals.

The Hawks knocked off the Jeeps 13-1 at Lancaster’s Beavers Field in high school baseball tournament action.

Hiland took advantage of a Jeep error and plated three runs in the top of the first inning — which included an RBI-double by Nolan Yoder, who later scored on a passed ball.

“We knew in order to win today we’d have to play a clean game defensively and things didn’t start out good for us in the first inning,” South Webster coach Ryan McClintic said. “We’ve scouted them well and they are a team – that when they get you down and smell blood in the water — they take advantage of it. Tip your cap to them.”

The Hawks (27-1) added a run in the top of the third when Colin Coblentz scored on another Jeep error.

In the bottom of the inning, South Webster (18-13) had a big opportunity to score, but left the bases loaded.

“That just added insult to injury,” McClintic said. “You try to battle back and you’re facing a good pitcher, and that stuff is deflating. You can tell the guys to put it behind you, but that’s harder than it sounds. When you get runners on against a team like this you have to get them in, and we didn’t do that.”

Hiland added two more runs in the top of the fourth and had a 6-0 lead.

South Webster spoiled the Hawks’ shutout when leadoff hitter Connor Bender scored in the bottom of the fifth inning — off an error caused by a single hit by senior Jaren Lower.

Bender, also a senior, reached base on all plate appearances — with a single, a walk and two hit-by-pitches.

“He hung in there and got on base any way he could,” McClintic said.

Senior pitcher Robert Martin went six and one-third innings for South Webster — and had five strikeouts and surrendered 10 hits.

“Robert has been great for us all year and his entire career,” McClintic said. “His performance today – you know the scoreboard doesn’t reflect his performance. He threw 34 pitches the first inning and was around 50 through two. That’s tough for anybody. But to come out here in the heat, in the middle of the day and a tough team like this — it really makes you work hard on one through nine. I thought he did great considering the circumstances.”

South Webster’s offense was stymied by pitcher Nolan Yoder, who limited the Jeeps to six hits and one run.

Yoder, a senior right-hander, fanned 53 during the regular season and posted a 1.3 ERA.

“Our guys continued to battle the entire game and we have a lot of young guys on the team,” McClintic added. “We know what the three seniors (Bender, Lower and Martin) meant to us, but some young guys got the bats out and put the ball in play. They were not scared against a senior-laden team like Hiland. I think the future is going to be bright.”

Hunter Barnhard, a sophomore for the Jeeps, had a single and made all three putouts at shortstop in the top of the fifth inning.

Freshman third baseman Jacob McGraw smacked a double in the bottom of the fourth, while second baseman Brycin McClintic, another freshman, had two singles in the loss.

* * *

Hiland 301 200 7 —13 17 2

South Webster 000 010 0 — 1 6 3

Hiland hitting: Weaver 2-5 2B, 3R 2RBI; Cody Yoder 2-4, 1R; Nolan Yoder 2-4, 2 2B, 2R 3RBI; Colin Coblentz 3-4, 2R; Isaak Yoder 2-2 1R; Brady Yoder 3-4 1R; Caden Coblentz 1-4 1R RBI; Kaufman 0-3; Monigold 1-1 1R; Beachy 1-3 1R 2RBI.

South Webster hitting: Connor Bender 1-1 R; Hunter Barnhard 1-3; Jaren Lower 1-2; Robert Martin 0-3; Jacob McGraw 1-3 2B; Brycin McClintic 2-3; Brody Perkins 0-2; Benaiah Andrews 0-3; Tristan Belford 0-2

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