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Friday, May 6, 2016

Hinton holds on in Diediker's final home game

Friday, July 6, 2012

(Sentinel photo by Jay Bell) Hinton senior Nolan Field, right, says a few words about outgoing head coach Steve Diediker as the coach is presented with a plaque before Thursday's home win over Spalding Catholic. Diediker will continue to coach other sports at Hinton.
HINTON -- The Blackhawks gave the seniors and head coach Steve Diediker a 4-3 victory over Spalding Catholic Thursday in their final game at Hinton.

The win may have been the closest for Hinton (19-9) during the team's current school-record winning streak of 12 games. The previous school records for wins in a season and games won in a row were 15 and seven, respectively.

Senior Nolan Field went six and two-thirds innings for the Blackhawks to pick up the win. Field left the mound in the seventh inning with the score 4-3 and runners on second and third base.

Senior Seth Butler replaced Field at pitcher and hit the first batter he faced to load the bases. Butler forced the next batter for Spalding (18-12) to ground out to shortstop to end the game.

Field allowed just five hits and two earned runs against the Spartans. Field struck out seven batters and issued two walks.

Hinton had similar difficulties at the plate, with just four hits and two walks.

The Blackhawks scored the first run of the game with back-to-back doubles by junior second baseman Grady Farrer and Butler in the third inning. Spalding answered with a run in the fourth inning.

The teams traded runs in the fifth and sixth inning. Spalding scored once in the fifth and Hinton used a pair of walks and a fielder's choice to tie the game at 2-2.

(Sentinel photo by Jay Bell) Hinton junior second baseman Grady Farrer turns to fire to first base for a first inning double play against Spalding Catholic on Thursday in Hinton.
The Spartans took the lead in the top of the sixth inning 3-2. Junior left fielder Dalton Becker and eighth-grade shortstop Skyler Beller led off the bottom of the frame with back-to-back singles.

Becker would score on a ground-out by Farrer. Beller scored the game-winning run on a suicide squeeze by senior designated hitter Brock Babcock.

"We got (hits) at the right time," Diediker said. "We're bunching them together. We only had four hits, but we had two of the hits in the third inning and two of the hits in the sixth. They actually counted and we manufactured a couple of runs there."

Becker, Beller, Butler and Farrer had the team's only hits. Babcock, Butler, Farrer and Field had one RBI each. Junior third baseman Morgan Wenzel and Babcock both earned one walk.

Babcock, Butler, Field and Diediker were all recognized prior to the team's final home game.

(Sentinel photo by Jay Bell) Hinton senior pitcher Nolan Field picked up another win Thursday against Spalding Catholic in Hinton.
"I've never ever considered it about me, it's about the kids and the community," Diediker said. "It's still nice to be recognized. I know we had a lot of alumni that showed up. It made it a little bit more special with all of the alumni there."

Coach Diediker said he felt the time was right to retire from coaching baseball.

"We've got a young (Cale Kramer) on staff that I think is ready to be a head coach," Diediker said. "I just figured that it was the time to give it up."

Diediker has coached multiple sports for more than 30 years and is only retiring from baseball. He will continue to coach other sports, but he is unsure how he will feel in the future not coaching baseball.

"Ask me next year, I guess," Diediker joked. "Right now, it was hotter than blazes out there tonight. I thought, 'I could be sitting in front of the air conditioner.' Right now, it seems pretty nice, but next year I might have some of those hunger pains.

"For right now, I'm just happy we've got a winning streak going here and the kids are playing really well. It's really been a fun year. It's one of those you just want to keep rolling."

The streaking Blackhawks will begin postseason play next Tuesday in the Class 1A District 1 quarterfinals at Gehlen Catholic at 7 p.m.

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