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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Hinton comes back to beat Unity 15-14 in eight

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

(Sentinel photo by Bethany Kroeze) Hinton's Riliegh Burke makes a play to first in the Blackhawks' 15-14 win over Unity Christian Tuesday evening.
Hinton battled two opponents Tuesday evening--the Unity Christian Knights and the chilly spring rain. And Hinton coach Phil Skamser said that his Blackhawks won both battles.

"The conditions were the same for both teams," he said. "We were good enough to rise above the conditions."

And rise above they did. The Blackhawks came back from a 4-0 deficit going into the bottom of the second to a 15-14 win after eight innings of play.

The Knights started with a pair of runs in the top of the first to take a 2-0 lead. Unity added two more in the top of the second to double their score.

"We had a couple rough innings on defense," Skamser said of the first one and a half. "[Going into the bottom of the second], we had no choice but to get it going. We sort of got a handle on their pitcher and were more patient at the plate, just looking for our spot to hit."

That attitude seemed to work as the Blackhawks scored five runs in the second. Shawnee Miller knocked a double out to left field to score and Morgan McCabe sent a single to left field for another Blackhawk run as the Blackhawks took a 5-4 lead after two.

The Knights came back in the fourth, scoring two more to take back the lead.

Down 6-5 going into the bottom of the fifth, Hinton got the bats going and tallied nine runs to regain the lead.

After five, the Blackhawks led 14-6.

Unity came back to tie things up by the seventh inning and with a 14-14 tie, the game went into an eighth inning.

With the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the eighth, Shelby Birocci hit a line drive to left field to score Miller for the winning run.

Birocci started from the mound for Hinton, pitching six full innings. The senior struck out six and walked four before turning over the mound to Miller.

Miller came in in the seventh and got the win for the Blackhawks. She struck out three and walked two as Hinton won 15-14.

The Blackhawks tallied their 15 runs off 15 hits on the night.

"We were looking for pitches in the right spots and we found them," Skamser said. "We only struck out twice on the night."

McCabe and Kelsey Anfinson led Hinton with three hits apiece. Kinsey Bak, Riliegh Burke, Miller and Birocci each tallied a pair of hits as well.

With the win, the Blackhawks improve to 1-1 in the War Eagle Conference and 3-1 overall.

Skamser was pleased with the win over their conference foe, but said there are still areas to improve on. "We're obviously happy we won the game," he said. "But this game really exposed some things on our part that we need to do better.

"We need to hold our concentration for longer; at times we lost our focus. We also have to be able to make better decision on defense too and just play at a higher level."

But Skamser hopes that this game will help them improve as the season continues. "It's still early," he said. "Maybe it takes an eight-inning game like this to really get a handle on things and make us learn. But I hope we're quick learners because our schedule is tough and busy."

Hinton hosts South O'Brien tonight in another War Eagle Conference match-up.

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