Hornets Pitching Leads The Way

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Junior centerfielder Hayden Heggemeier slides in safely to third base in the first inning of the Hornets 7-2 win over Pinckneyville on April 13.

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Hornets’ catcher Cody Bauza blocks a pitch down in the dirt from Nashville’s Ryan Brink in the Hornets 7-2 win over the Panthers.

By Brent Huelsmann

The Hornets used strong pitching this week to win their 12th straight game as they defeated Pinckneyville and Anna-Jonesboro. The Hornets continued their strong play as of late, as they pushed their conference record to 5-0 on the season. Nashville got dominant pitching performances from Ryan Brink and Austin Anderson and timely hitting in each of their wins this week.

The Hornets got their first win of the week in a makeup game against Pinckneyville on April 13. The two teams were supposed to meet on April 11, but the game had to be postponed due to rain. After starting off slow, the Hornets dominated the middle innings, and withstood a late rally to defeat the Panthers 7-2. Brink was dominant on the mound giving up just three hits in 6 2/3 innings, giving up two runs, one earned, while striking out seven. Brady Bultman came in and threw just two pitches to get the final out of the ball game. With both teams scoreless through two innings of play, the Hornets broke through in the third plating one run. Nashville would add three in the fourth, one in the fifth, and two more in the sixth to take a commanding 7-0 lead. In the seventh, the Panthers would get two runs home, but could not complete a comeback.

Brink filled up the stat sheet in the game, hitting a two run home run to go along with his performance on the mound. Trevor Meier and Jake Heck each finished with two RBIs in the win for the Hornets. Hayden Heggemeier, Cody Bauza, Jaris Dalman, Brady Bultman, and Austin Anderson each had a hit in the win.

In their next game the Hornets needed eight innings, but they disposed of Anna-Jonesboro 2-0. Austin Anderson was flawless on the mound pitching all eight innings for Nashville, giving up just three hits, and tied his season high by striking out 12 batters. A battle throughout, Anna-Jonesboro matched the Hornets pitch for pitch through the first seven innings. In the eighth, Nashville finally broke through getting the deciding two runs in the innings. Dalman and Kemp had the RBIs in the inning for Nashville.

At the plate, the top of the lineup got on base throughout as Heggemeier, Bauza, and Dalman each had two hits in the ball game. Bultman, Brogan Kemp, and Anderson had the other three hits for Nashville. Nick Krummrich scored the winning run for the Hornets as he came around to score in the eighth inning.

The Hornets won their 13th straight game, getting another great pitching performance defeating Sparta 5-2 on Monday April 18. After giving up a run in the first, Bultman settled down on the mound, and shut down the Sparta offense. Bultman finished giving up only four hits, two runs, one earned, in six innings on the mound. Offensively, the Hornets were able to take the lead in the third inning, getting two runs across the plate. The Hornets would add insurance runs in the fourth, fifth, and sixth, innings on their way to a 5-2 victory.

Anderson led the offense with two hits in the ball game to go along with a run scored, and a stolen base in the win. Heggemeier, who pitched the last inning for Nashville, Brink, Kemp, Heck, and Bultman each had an RBI for Nashville. Meier and Dalman had the two other hits for Nashville in the win.

Nashville’s record now stands at 13-2. The Hornets are back in action against Pinckneyville April 21, before taking on DuQuoin on April 25. Nashville will travel down to Carterville to finish their suspended game on April 26.