The Horizon Christian baseball team proved Tuesday that the preseason means nothing.
After starting the season 0-8, the Hawks put together a stunning offensive and defensive display at Collins Field to beat league rival Wahtonka, 11-1.
But Tuesday’s 10-run win wasn’t only the Hawks’ first win of the season. It was also their first win over Wahtonka since coach Jim Brown has been filling out the lineup card.
“We’ve been close so many times and have let it slip away,” he said. “But there was no doubt about this one today.”
The Hawks scored two runs in the first inning and seven more in the second to take a 9-1 lead. Two more runs in the third were all the help that pitcher John Winters would need to record his first victory.
But it didn’t hurt that the Hawks played error-free defense behind him, either.
“We really had it together on defense today,” said junior shortstop Cheyne Swick, who delivered an RBI single during the six-hit, seven-run second inning.
“It’s starting to happen for us, and we hope we can take care of business when we play these guys again,” he said.
One of the game’s highlights came on the final defensive play of the fifth inning.
With a runner on first and the Hawks leading 11-1, Swick snared a sharp line drive and completed the double play at first to end the game — and, more importantly, the Hawks’ losing streak.
“It’s nice to finally get one,” said senior second baseman Paul Brown. “But getting a win in league is the biggest thing. This is the first time we’ve beaten these guys, and it was kind of a surprise to ‘10-run’ them. But we’ll take it.”
So will coach Brown.
“We earned this win today,” he said. “This is the way I’ve envisioned these guys playing all year. It’s no coincidence that we won the same game we played so well on defense.”
Junior catcher Aaron Griffin led the offensive surge with three RBI’s, while junior third baseman Michael Stenberg added two RBI’s on a double in the second inning.
Winters and first baseman Neal Regentin each had one RBI, along with Swick, and the rest of the runs were scored due to a bevy of Wahtonka errors (official total not available).
Horizon was playing without starting pitcher/infielder Sheldon Diers, but they hope to have him back Wednesday at Condon.