The Night Hawk won one, and lost one on the final two days of the regular season.
By SHELDON CHRISTENSON
For The Herald
The Night Hawks picked up their first Region 8 baseball victory with a last inning decision over Hazen on May 16. Hazen had previously defeated the Night Hawks on April 21 by a score of 9-1. It looked like Hazen may take this one also as they scored first with three runs in the top half of the second inning. After a Night Hawk error that let the first runner on base, starting Night Hawk pitcher Brandon Pierce ran into control problems as he walked one and hit two batters. Bison senior Mason Faut had the only hit of the inning with a two-run double.
The young Night Hawk team came back in the bottom of the second inning by scoring six times. They put together five hits, with the big blow being senior Brandon Pierce’s two-run triple. But Hazen wasn’t finished yet as they scored one run in each of the next three innings and then scored two in the sixth to take the lead 8-7.
After the second inning the Night Hawks were only able to score once through the sixth as Hazen pitcher Josh Snyder seemed in control, retiring eight batters in a row at one point.
Jarad Mattis relieved Pierce in the fifth inning with two runners on, one out and one run had already scored. He got the last two outs without allowing another run.
Hazen threatened in the seventh. With one out they loaded the bases with the help of two errors and a walk. Mattis was able two retire the next two batters with a strikeout and fly out to left field.
Freshman Jacob Dix led off in the bottom of the seventh and battled the pitcher, and ended up with a walk. Hazen coach Brent Hysjulien then pulled Snyder from the mound and brought in his ace senior Chase Bruner. On Bruner’s first pitch, Pierce hit a low inside pitch for a double, his third hit of the game, to put runners on second and third base. They then intentionally walked the Night Hawk’s clean-up hitter Hudson Pierce to load the bases and create a force out situation on all bases. Brett Christopherson fouled off a couple of pitches and then hit a slow roller to the Hazen second baseman who juggled the ball, and knowing it was too late to get the runner going home he threw off balanced to first. The first baseman could not handle it as it got a short distance away from him. Brandon Pierce, who was the runner on second base, kept running and made it home, beating the throw from the first baseman and winning it in walk-off fashion.
The next day Washburn/Wilton/Center-Stanton (WWCS) came to town and pulled out a 9-1 win over the Night Hawks.
Brett Christopherson was on the mound for the Night Hawks. He is fairly new at pitching at this level and I thought he did well. He left after pitching six innings and his team trailing 6-1 and giving up only five hits.
Hudson Pierce was like a human vacuum cleaner for the Night Hawks at third base. I had him down for fielding five grounders and throwing the runners out at first.
Night Hawk hitting was down from the Hazen game as they managed only four hits. WWCS pitcher Trevor Schreiner kept the Night Hawk hitters off balance with his sweeping slow curve.