Hornets advance to area playoff round

Posted by : admin | On : May 11, 2017

The News Staff Reports
GATESVILLE–The Athens Hornets used stellar pitching to sweep Gatesville in their best-of-three bi-district playoff series.
After a scoreless first two innings in game one, Athens jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third.
Luis Valdez walked to start the inning and moved to second on a groundout by Emanuel Hernandez. After Valdez stole third, Jacob Ickes was hit by a pitch and Valdez scored on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Noah Sikes. A Casey Pitchford single and a Kobe Kale walk loaded the bases. Sikes scored on a wild pitch for the 2-0 lead. Gatesville got a run back in the top of the fourth on a double, a walk and an error. That would be the only run Gatesville would score in the series.
The Hornets went up 3-1 in the bottom of the fourth on two walks and two groundouts.
The Hornets added to their lead, going up 7-1 in the sixth inning. Valdez led off the inning with a walk and moved to second on a Hernandez single. Pinch runner Grant Echols moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on a sacrifice fly by Ickes. Trent Harris, running for Hernandez, scored on an error and Sikes scored after Kale stole second and third.
Hernandez went the distance on the mound, giving up just the one unearned run on two hits while striking out six and walking only one batter. Cameron Woodard was 1-2 with a run scored and an RBI, and added two walks. Valdez walked three times, drove in a run and scored a run, Hernandez finished 1-2 with two walks, Pitchford was 1-3 and Kale was 1-2 with two walks. Ickes, Sikes and Pitchford had the other runs batted in. The Hornets had only four hits, but drew 12 walks in the game.
In game two, Cameron Woodard threw a complete-game shutout, giving up six hits and one walk while striking out four and Valdez was 2-4 with an RBI to lead the Hornets to the sweep. Woodard, Peyton Brewer, Ickes, Kale and Preston Benton added one hit each for the Hornets.
The Hornets scored once in the first on an error, allowing Echols to score. Athens went up 2-0 in the third inning on an RBI single by Valdez.
Athens added two more runs in the fifth on a Hernandez sacrifice fly and an error to lead 4-0.
Benton scored on a passed ball for the Hornets’ final run of the game.