The Hillsboro baseball team returned from a 10-day layoff Thursday and looked no worse for the wear.
Sophomores Max Stockwell and Tyler Crandall combined on a four-hitter and the Tigers’ offense came through with just enough support to pull out a 4–1 win.
Stockwell allowed just one run on four hits in four innings of work to earn his first win of the year. He struck out four and walked one.
After Wonewoc–Center scored its lone run in the third, senior Brandon Stanek started a two-out Hillsboro rally in the bottom half of the inning with a double and later scored when Chucky Strait reached on an infield error. Strait stole second and scored on Tommy Crandall’s single to give the Tigers a 2–1 lead.
Stanek went 2-for-3 with a double and triple in the game. Tommy Crandall went 2-for-4.
Hillsboro added a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the fourth.
Crandall made the lead hold up allowing just one hit and one walk over three scoreless innings to earn his second save of the season. He struck out six.
“Our pitching really carried us Thursday,” said Hillsboro head coach Bob Bothe. “Our hitting was good enough to win and our defense came up big when it had to.”
Monday afternoon Brookwood was on the wrong end of a 4–2 decision at Brookwood.
Jack Hansen hit a solo home run in the third inning to give the Falcons a 1–0 lead and later shutout down a Hillsboro rally in the sixth inning when he relieved Brookwood starting pitcher Chuck Arnold.
Colin Birkhulz doubled and later scored on a single in the fourth to five the Falcons a 3–1 lead.
In the fifth, Brookwood’s Josh Martin singled, stole second, was sacrificed to third, and scored on a suicide squeeze by Spencer Arndt to make it 5–1.
Hillsboro had plenty of chances in the game with runners in scoring position in the second, fourth, sixth, and seventh innings, but stranded 10 of their 12 runners.
Strait plated Stockwell in the fourth by hitting an 0–2 pitch towards the shortstop, but some crafty running by Stockwell distracted the defense allowing the ball to get into the outfield and Stockwell scored on the play.
In the sixth following singles by Matt Stekel and Strait, Stanek hit a sharp grounder that the third baseman knocked down. The only play was a first, but Stanek beat out the throw and Stekel never stopped running around third barely beating the throw home from first.
Hanson came in an put the fire out with a pair of strikeouts. He got out of another jam in the seventh with two more punch outs to earn the save.
“Brookwood did a nice job of manufacturing runs whereas we had to put the ball in play three or four times an inning just to score,” said Bothe. “The difference was Brookwood was getting their leadoff guys on base where we lead off with an out, got runners on, but couldn’t manufacture anything or get a clean clutch hit.”
Saturday’s La Farge Tournament was cancelled due to poor field conditions and will not be made up.
The Tigers are now 2–3 overall and 2–3 in the Scenic Bluffs.
Hillsboro is scheduled to host New Lisbon in a SBC doubleheader today. Monday, the Tigers will travel to Bangor for another conference doubleheader.