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Hornets Rolling Towards Postseason

The Nashville Hornets baseball team received the plaque for winning the SIRR Conference Mississippi Division this season. The Hornets finished with a 9-1 record in conference. Back Row: Cade Krueger, Dale Anderson, Carson Parker, Kelton Harre, Cameron Parker, Brogan Kemp, Austin Anderson, Bryce Bultman, Nick Paszkiewicz, and Cole Pedtke. Front Row: Jacob Woodrome, Jake Heck, Trevor Meier, Hayden Heggemeier, Andrew Kash, Cody Bauza, Chase Coffel, Tyler Jahnke, and Ryan Brink

By Brent Huelsmann

With the postseason looming, the Hornets baseball team picked up huge wins this past week over two of the top teams in IHSA Class 2A. Nashville defeated Benton 4-1 on May 2, before coming back to defeat Central 3-1 on May 5. The Hornets finished out the week with a 2-1 win over Collinsville on May 8.

In their first action of the week, the Hornets were able to get themselves out of jams, and went on to win the game 4-1. Brogan Kemp started the game on the mound and walked the bases loaded in the first inning. The Rangers would not do any damage as Kemp would induce a double play and follow it up with a strikeout to get the Hornets out of the inning.

In the bottom half of the inning, Hayden Heggemeier and Ryan Brink both reached base and a single by Trevor Meier scored Heggemeier giving the Hornets a 1-0 lead. Cameron Parker would follow up Meier’s single with another to give Nashville a quick 2-0 lead. Both Parker and Meier’s singles came with two strikes.

In the second and third innings, the Hornets used good defense and a timely strikeout to keep Benton at bay. In the second Brink made a great throw to get the out at first after a single to left field. In the third, Andrew Kash made a diving play in right to keep the leadoff man off the bases. After an errant pickoff throw, Kemp struck out the final batter of the inning to keep a zero in the run column for Benton.

Benton would grab a run in the fourth to cut Nashville’s lead in half. The first two batters of the inning reached, and the Rangers scored on a fielder’s choice after Jacob Woodrome came in the game to relieve Kemp.

That would be all Benton would get, as Woodrome kept the Rangers off balance the rest of the game. The Hornets would score their final two runs in the fifth. Both Brink and Meier got on base before Kemp hit a two RBI double to push the Hornets lead to 4-1.

On the mound Kemp went three plus innings in the game, and gave up the only run of the game for the Hornets. Woodrome pitched the final four innings for Nashville, got the win, and struck out three batters.

Offensively the Hornets finished with nine hits in the game. Kemp finished the game 1-3 with two RBIs in the win. Both Meier and Cameron Parker each finished the game 1-2 with a RBI. Heggemeier, Brink, and Kash each had two hits for Nashville.

Nashville was back on the field on May 5, as they traveled to take on the Central Cougars. The two teams were locked in a pitchers duel throughout the entire game, but in the end the Hornets were able to pull out a 3-1 victory.

The game was scoreless for the first five and a half innings, until the Cougars broke through with a run in the sixth after taking advantage of a Nashville error. Central would not hang on to the lead. The Hornets would grab a run in the seventh, and two more in the eighth to grab a 3-1 win.

Brink again was great on the mound, as he went six strong innings, and gave up just one unearned run. Brink gave up two hits, and struck out eight batters. Woodrome pitched the final two innings and got the win. Woodrome did not give up a hit and struck out one.

At the plate, Kemp led the way with a home run in the win. THe HR was Kemp’s only hit in the game. Both Kash and Heggemeier finished the game with one hits and a run scored. Meier drove in a run for Nashville, while Cameron Parker reached base twice with one hit and a walk. Cody Bauza walked twice in the win.

Nashville continued their winning ways on May 8 as they defeated Collinsville 2-1 in another close game. Collinsville started out quick as they took advantage of two walks in the first and scored their lone run of the game.

Austin Anderson would shut the Kahoks down from there as he contributed another strong start. After the game, Coach Malawy, talked about Anderson. “Austin Anderson I think was a little juiced up facing the bigger school. He hadn’t thrown in a week. He had some great velocity today, it just took him a little while to find command of all his pitches, but once he did around the middle of the second inning he turned it on and was really good through the third, the fourth, the fifth, and even into the sixth was really good for us.”

Anderson went six plus innings, and struck out ten batters.

Collinsville kept the 1-0 lead until the third inning when Heggemeier doubled to lead off the frame, After back to back outs, Meier came up with a big two-out double to deep center to tie the game.

The game would stay tied as each pitcher put up zeros until the sixth inning. Meier doubled to lead off the inning, and Kemp continued his offensive production with a RBI single for the game winning hit.

Woodrome came in the game to pitch the seventh, and closed out the game for the Hornets.

At the plate, the Hornets were led by Meier and Kemp. Both players finished the game with two hits and a RBI. Heggemeier finished with one hit in the win. Both Cameron Parker and Bauza walked for nashville in the win.

After the game, Malawy talked about the play of his team over the past week. “We’re starting to play good baseball overall, but you know how it is, any given day in the game of baseball. Every game you have to come focused. If we can get a little more leadership out of our seniors, a little more let’s get ready to play I think I like our chances.”

The Hornets’ record is 22-6.

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