The Nashville Hornets opened up Southern Illinois River to River Conference Mississippi Division play with two dominating wins over Anna-Jonesboro and Sparta this past week. The Hornets followed those two wins up with wins over Mater Dei and Murphysboro. Nashville moved their record to 12-2 on the season with nine straight wins.
The Nashville Hornets didn’t need much time to win their first conference game of the year as they defeated Anna-Jonesboro 19-0 in just four innings on April 1. The game was played at SIU-Carbondale. Nashville scored early and often in the contest as they finished with ten hits, seven walks, and 15 RBIs.
The Hornets led just 1-0 after the first inning, but the offense exploded for eight runs in the second and ten runs in the third to cruise to the win.
Seven different players notched a hit for Nashville and eleven different players crossed home plate and scored a run. The most damage was done by sophomore Cole Malawy who finished with two hits, two runs scored and seven RBIs. Kelton Harre drove in two runs on two hits, and scored three runs. Carson Parker finished 1-1 with two walks, two RBIs, and four runs scored. Bryce Bultman did not drive in a run, but notched two hits, and scored two runs. Tanner Bergmann singled, drove in a run, walked twice, and scored two runs. Nick Miller finished 1-2 with a RBI and a run scored. Gavin Baldwin drove in a run and scored a run. Zack Kempfer singled and scored a run in the win. Patrick Combs walked in a run and scored a run. Nick Paszkiewicz and Todd Jahnke each scored a run in the contest.
Three pitchers combined for the shutout. Bultman pitched the first two innings, and gave up two hits, striking out three batters. Terry Pelczynski and Matt Anderson each pitched an inning. Neither pitcher gave up a hit in relief.
The Hornets first home contest saw the Hornets score in every inning as they defeated Sparta 12-2 in five innings. Sparta committed six errors in the contest. Nashville banged out six hits. Sparta scored two runs, but did not record a hit in the contest.
Sparta jumped out to a 2-0 lead early as they took advantage of free bases. The lead would be short lived as Nashville came up with four in the bottom of the first to take the lead for good. The Hornets would then score two in the second, four in the third, and two in the fourth to take the win.
“It’s definitely good to get off to a good start in the conference. You have to win your home conference games to stay in the race is what I have learned over the years. It’s a good win for us,” said Coach Chad Malawy after the game.
Harre led Nashville with three RBIs in the win. Harre also scored three runs and notched one hit. Cole Malawy drove in two runs and scored a run on two hits. Bultman notched two hits and scored two runs. Ian Blazier crossed the plate twice and scored a run for the Hornets. Bergmann doubled, scored a run, and drove in a run in the win. Kempfer and Jahnke each drove in a run. Paszkiewicz singled and scored in the win. Miller and Parker each finished with a run scored.
Kempfer started the game and went an inning and a third. Kempfer gave up two unearned runs, walked four, and struck out three. Jahnke pitched two and two thirds innings and gave up zeros across the board. Jahnke did not walk anyone and struck out two. Combs pitched the final inning and struck out one batter.
The Hornets were back in action on April 3 as they took on Mater Dei. It came down to the bottom of the seventh, but the Hornets came away with a 6-5 win over Mater Dei.
Nashville and Mater Dei each scored in the first, and the game would stay tied at one until the bottom of the third. The Hornets broke through with a run in the third, and two runs in the fourth to grab a 4-1 lead after four innings. Mater Dei would tie the game in the fifth with three runs of their own, and take the lead in the sixth with another run. Nashville would not quit fighting and would score two in the bottom of the seventh to take the win.
Baldwin finished the game 2-4 with a home run and two RBIs. Bergmann finished the game 1-2 with two runs batted in. Harre notched two hits and scored two runs. Parker finished 1-2 with two runs scored at the top of the lineup. Bultman finished with a hit and a run scored. Miller knocked in a run with a single. Blazier finished with a hit for the Hornets.
On the mound, Matt Anderson went five innings and gave up four earned runs on ten hits. Anderson walked one and struck out two. Baldwin pitched the final two innings and got the win. Baldwin gave up one run on one hit, walked two and struck out four.
In their final game of the week, the Hornets defeated Centralia 9-3. Nashville used a huge fourth inning to cruise past the Orphans.
Nashville led 1-0 after one inning, but Centralia came back to tie the game in the third. The Hornets offense would respond with six runs in the fourth to gain some breathing room. Centralia responded in the fifth with two runs of their own, but again the Hornets would respond. Nashville added two insurance runs in the fifth and went on for a 9-3 win.
Bultman got the start and lasted three innings. Bultman gave up two hits, an unearned run, and struck out two. Combs pitched in relief and also went three innings. Combs gave up two unearned runs on two hits, walked three, and struck out four. Blazier pitched the final inning for the Hornets. Blazier gave up no hits, but did walk two batters.