Power and history: Hettinger-Scranton runs by Heart River with six-homer performance, Cougars capture first ever regular-season win
BELFIELD — It's not very often that you see a ball, yet along multiple balls, sky over the outfield fence for a home run during a high school baseball contest, but on Thursday, April 18, the Hettinger-Scranton baseball team put on a memorable display of power that defied the norm.
In the words of NBA superstar LeBron James, the Night Hawks hit not one, not two, not three, not four, not five, but six long balls against Heart River, capturing a game one 12-3 road victory from the John J. Steiner American Legion Ball Park.
The road team clubbed back-to-back home runs in the top of the fourth inning, and then followed that with back-to-back-to-back jacks in the sixth.
"It didn't surprise me. The guys that hit the home runs are guys that continuously hit hard in practice," Night Hawks head coach Nolan Dix said. "It surprises us that we hit six, but the guys that hit, it didn't surprise me when they hit them."
Game two featured primarily junior varsity players and while it didn't count in the region standings, the 8-6 result in five innings will go down as the first regular-season victory in the Cougars varsity baseball program.
"It's as I thought it would go. Granted, we played a lot of our JV kids and they did too, but it's one of those things that's good for the program," Heart River head coach Daren Kurle said. "As we talked about from the beginning, we knew we were going to get to this point and we knew it was going to happen this year. Now that we got that first win out of the way, we can focus on getting better in those region-counter games."
The Night Hawks jumped out to a 2-0 advantage in the first frame of game one thanks to RBI base hits from junior outfielder Ty Warbis and senior infielder Jacob Dix. Later in the frame, with two runners on and one out, sophomore infielder Jeran Anderson turned on a delivery from Cougars junior pitcher and cranked a three-run home run over the left field fence.
With a 7-1 advantage in the fourth, the Night Hawks and their bats in the middle of the order came up big again when Warbis and Dix connected with back-to-back solo shots.
"It's very fun, it brings a lot of momentum to the team," Jacob Dix said. "The guys just love having fun. Just hitting those home runs felt really good.
"I'm pretty sure there weren't not too many pitches thrown, but I was going to hit anything I saw that was near the plate."
Two innings later, the duo did it again.
"It just give me a lot of pride to see that what we do in practice show on the field and how hard we work to get a home run," Warbis said. "Putting up runs and beating teams, it feels good.
"I don't remember the pitch sequence, but the first home run, the pitch was pretty high, probably shouldn't have swung at it. I went for it and it paid off. The second one, it was a little lower, right in the sweet spot where you want it."
From there, the stage was set for senior catcher Bo Wilson. The left-handed hitter dug in at the plate before ripping a home run to the opposite field, making it three in a row.
"That at-bat, I was pretty nervous going into it," Wilson said. "Everybody was like, 'go back-to-back-to-back,' and I was like, 'I'm just going to hit the ball.' I hit an outside fastball and I didn't think it'd go as far as it did."
In the nightcap, the Night Hawks went up 2-0 in the third on Warbis' third dinger of the night.
Even through they didn't use the long ball, Heart River took the lead after scoring eight runs in the bottom of the frame. During the breakout inning, Heart River had five hits, three walks and two hit batters.
Eighth-grader Ethan Ruffin walked to lead off the inning. Three batters later, with the bases loaded, freshman infielder Tarence Dillinger walked to bring across the Cougars first run. Next, an RBI groundout from sophomore pitcher Tanner Obrigewitch tied the game at 2-2 before freshman catcher Braden Obrigewitch gave the home team its first lead of the night with an RBI single.
Hettinger-Scranton nearly rallied in the top of the fifth when home runs from senior outfielder Kyle Burwick and senior outfielder Zachary Madler closed the deficit to 8-6, but freshman infielder Bradee Clapper struck out swinging to end the game.
"These kids know how to win, it was just a matter of getting that first win," Kurle said. "It wasn't easy. When we went into the fifth inning up 8-4 and gave up two more home runs, I can't believe how many home runs they hit today. ... But it's one of those things that's good for the program, it was just a matter of executing."
Hettinger-Scranton 12, Heart River 3
HS 502 203 0 — 12 15 0
HR 001 011 0 — 3 6 3
HS: Warrick Dilse (5.0), Jeran Anderson (2.0), and Bo Wilson. HR: Ian Silbernagel (5.0), Preston Walter (2.0), and Tyler White.
W—Dilse. L—Silbernagel. HR— HS: Anderson, Wilson, Jacob Dix 2, Ty Warbis 2.
Highlights: HS: Warbis 4-5, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 3 R; Dix 3-4, 2 HR, 2B, 3 RBI; Wilson, 1-3, HR, BB, RBI; Anderson 3-4, HR, 4 RBI, 2 R. HR: Cauy Shypkoski 1-4, 2 RBI.
Heart River 8, Hettinger-Scranton 6 (F/5)
HS 002 22 — 6 6 0
HR 008 0x — 8 6 2
HS: Ty Warbis (2.0), Corey Christopherson (2.0) and Mason DeFoe and Jeran Anderson. HR: Tanner Obrigewitch (4.0), Tarence Dillinger (1.0) and Braden Obrigewitch.
W—T. Obrigewitch. L—Warbis. HR— HS: Warbis, Zachary Madler, Kyle Burwick.
Highlights: HS: Warbis: 1-2, HR, 2 RBI, R; Madler 1-2, HR, RBI, R, BB; Burwick 1-1, HR, RBI, R, BB. HR: Austin Buckman 2-3, RBI, R; Jordan Koppinger 1-2, BB, 2B 2 RBI, R. Ethan Ruffin 0-0, BB, 2 R.