The stars continued to align for the Horizon Christian Hawks Tuesday when they went into Culver and earned their first-ever victory on the Bulldogs’ field.
Senior John Winters pitched a steady seven innings to pick up the 13-6 win. Meanwhile, the bats did their damage early and late to give Horizon its seventh victory in the past eight Big Sky Conference outings.
“It was definitely a Winters game,” said junior outfielder Michael Stenberg. “He just sat guys down one after the other. He was tough.”
Winters gave up six hits and three earned runs on the day, striking out six and walking none.
“Easily John’s best pitching outing of the season,” coach Jim Brown said. “He has been a workhorse for us the past four seasons, and he knew it was his game to win. It was great to see him end his high-school career on such a positive note.”
Seniors Paul Brown and Sheldon Diers also played in their final games Tuesday, and were ecstatic with the team’s effort the past three weeks.
“It’s nice to go out with a bang in league,” said Brown, who went 2-3 with an RBI. “This is the best our school has ever done, so that’s what I’ll remember most about this year.”
Horizon finished the season at 7-5 in the Big Sky West, and 8-13 overall. After starting 1-4 in league play, the Hawks fought back to win seven of eight games.
“You can’t say enough about these kids,” coach Brown said. “They overcame a lot and finished with the best season in school history. Not bad at all.”
Winters finished his high school career with two hits and two RBIs against Culver, while juniors Neal Regentin and Aaron Griffin knocked in three runs apiece.
Horizon scored four in the first before Culver tied the game in the bottom of the third. The Hawks brought home one run in the fourth and two more in the fifth, but Culver smacked a two-run homerun in the sixth to make things interesting.
However, Horizon kept its composure and banged out six more runs in the top of the seventh to win it.