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It was a wild affair when the Hornets won 17-7 over University Heights in six innings at Vastwood Park’s Tommy Keown Field Friday.
Hancock County (6-5) led 1-0 after Hornet pitcher Logan Willis set the Blazers down 1-2-3 in the first inning and Cole Dixon scored for HCHS. Willis began to struggle with his control in the second inning and the visitors plated two runs off two walks and three hit batsman before Willis struck out two in a row to get out of the inning.
The Hornets regained a 3-2 lead in the home half of the second. Austin Volocko led off with a single then stole second base. He later scored on a hit by Hunter Severs and Jake Frames crossed home plate on a visitor’s error.
The Blazers went back on top in the third when they scored five runs on two hits, with three walks and three more hit batsman charged to Ryan Ogle. The Hornet pitcher got out of the inning with a strike out and a solid defensive play.
The Hornets closed to within one run (7-6) by plating three runs in the home half of the third. Volocko and Frames both hit safely and scored on Blazer errors and Severs took one for the team and also came home via fielding error.
Volocko and Frames both singled and scored in the fifth and Severs walked and scored on a hit by Sam Walz. Dixon followed with a base hit and Drew Lyday was hit by a pitch. The Hornet catcher later said that the ball didn’t hit him, but the umpire’s call was final.
Dixon scored on a passed ball and Lyday came home on a sacrifice fly by Willis and the Hornets now led 12-7. Hancock County added five more runs in the sixth before the game was called via the 10-run rule. Colin Johnson, Dixon and Kaleb Keown all hit safely during the frame before Willis ended the game with an RBI triple.
Walz earned the win on the mound in a relief role. He allowed no runs on one hit, with five Ks and four walks over 3.1 innings. Willis allowed two runs on one hit, with three Ks, two walks and two HBP. Ogle allowed five runs on two hits, with one K, three walks and three HBP.
Volocko was 3 for 4 at the plate with three runs scored and two stolen bases. Frames was 2 for 4 with four runs scored, Dixon was 2 for 5 with two RBI, three runs and four stolen bases, and Severs was 1 for 2 with two RBI, two runs and two steals. Walz was 1 for 2 with two runs scored, Willis was 1 for 4 with a triple and three RBI, and Keown was 1 for 4 with three RBI. Johnson was 1 for 3 with one RBI, and Lyday scored two runs.
By Steve Wimmer