Ryan Hershberger figured, why settle for simple little singles and doubles when triples and home runs are on the menu.
In a fantastic individual performance, Hershberger swatted a triple and blasted a home run, drove in five runs, and led the Hawks to a 9-3 nonconference win over Tusky Valley on Thursday, April 18 at Hiland High School’s Lehman Field.
Hiland starter Kobe Shetler worked through a scoreless first frame as did Trojans starter Ethan Love. Tusky Valley would then forge a 1-0 lead in the second inning on singles by Nate Glaser and Trevor Kohler, and after the Hawks went down quietly in the second, the Trojans tacked on a couple of unearned runs in the third inning when the Hawks committed three straight errors. It could have been worse had Hiland not turned a double play to end the inning.
Trailing 3-0, Hiland went to work on Love in the bottom of the third inning. Brett Miller walked to lead off, Tyler Kline followed with a single and everyone road home the easy way when Hershberger swatted a Love offering over the big green wall in left to tie the game at 3-3. Hiland wasn’t done as Andy Miller singled and eventually came around to score on an error that gave Hiland a lead it would not relinquish.
Kevin Borntrager came on in relief of Shetler to start the fourth inning and did a tremendous job of slamming the door on the Trojans. Over the next three frames Borntrager allowed just two harmless hits while Hiland kept adding to its lead to pull away.
Brett Miller walked and scored when Andy Miller and Casey Kalman recorded hits in the fourth, but they were then left stranded for a 5-3 lead. In the fifth Hiland went quickly, but the Hawks were about to put this one away in the bottom of the sixth inning. Brett Miller again sparked the start with a double, Kline walked and Hershberger raked a triple to the base of the wall in left center to make it 7-3. He then trotted home on Kalman’s sacrifice fly, and Andy Miller, who had walked, scored on Borntrager’s double to round out the scoring.
Andy Miller would come on to finish the game for Hiland, and after giving up a one-out single, the Hawks ended the game by turning a 6-4-3 double play.
Shetler went three innings, allowing three runs, one of them earned, on three hits. He allowed one walk while striking out three. Borntrager picked up the win in relief, twirling three innings of scoreless two-hit baseball. Love suffered the loss, going five innings, allowing eight runs, seven of them earned, on eight hits while walking five and striking out five. In addition to Hershberger’s night, Andy Miller pounded out three hits and scored twice while Brett Miller scored three runs. Dustin Kirtley had a pair of hits for the Trojans.