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Indians take game one against Tigers

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Hillsboro's Ashton Clemons pitched 5.2 innings for the win against McClain Monday at HHS. (HCP Photos/Stephen Forsha)
By
Stephen Forsha, The Highland County Press

The Hillsboro Indians earned their second win of the 2024 season on the baseball diamond with a home Frontier Athletic Conference victory over the McClain Tigers, 8-3 Monday evening in the first of two conference meetings scheduled for this week. 

Though the Tigers were first to score a run in the game at Hillsboro High School on Monday (April 29), with a run scoring in the top of the third, it was the Indians answering in the bottom of the fourth with a five-run inning, followed by three more runs in the bottom of the fifth for a 8-1 lead. McClain scored two final runs in the top of the sixth for the final 8-3 score. 

The Tigers finished the game with five hits and two errors, and the Indians totaled six hits and one error. 

McClain’s first run crossed home plate in the top of the third with Eli Douglas reaching first base on an error at first base with one out. After a second out was recorded, Seth Weller singled to centerfield, scoring Douglas for the 1-0 lead. 

Hillsboro’s five-run fourth inning started with Walker Pence singling to right field to lead off the inning. Pence advanced to second base on a wild pitch, and later stole third base during Gavin Greer’s at-bat, where he drew a walk on a 3-2 count. 

Pence tied the score at 1-1, crossing home plate on a fielder’s choice hit by Ben Miller, where Greer moved to third base on the ensuing error. Next, Zach Burwinkel walked, and during that at-bat, Miller stole second base. 

With two outs in the inning, the Indians added runs to their total with Ashton Clemons hitting a ground ball single to left field, scoring both Miller and Greer, while moving Burwinkel to second base for a 3-1 Hillsboro lead. 

That lead increased to four runs with two more runs in the inning as Logan Zurface hit a single to left field, scoring Clemons and Burwinkel, making the score 5-1. 

In the fifth inning, the Indians added two final runs with Pence scoring a run off a single by Greer, and Brayden Hunter scoring a run off a walk by Burwinkel for a 7-1 advantage. The lead increased to seven runs with an 8-1 lead as Greer scored on a bases-loaded walk by Clemons. 

McClain’s final two runs were scored in the top of the sixth as Connor McCune and Owen Sykes each scored a run off a single to left field by Benny Vangundy. 

At the plate, the six hits by the Indians consisted of Greer leading at the plate with a 2-for-3 game, finishing with two runs, one RBI and a walk. 

Pence finished 1-for-4 with two runs, and Brown went 1-for-4. 

Clemons was 1-for-1 with one run, three RBI and two walks, and Zurface finished 1-for-3 with two RBI for the Indians in the FAC win. 

Hunter was hit by a pitch, while Zurface, Pence (two) and Miller each had a steal. 

Clemons pitched 5.2 innings for the win, allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits and four four walks with five strikeouts. Nate Lane pitched 1.1 innings, allowing no runs, hits or walks, finishing with one strikeout. 

For McClain, Andrew Potts pitched four innings, allowing five earned runs on four hits and three walks with four strikeouts. Douglas pitched 1.2 innings, allowing no runs, one hit and he had two strikeouts. Easton Ary went 0.1 innings, allowing two earned runs on one hit and three walks with one strikeout. 

At the plate for McClain, Weller finished 2-for-4 with one RBI and a double. Kaden Penwell was 1-for-4, Sykes was 1-for-3 with a run and Vangundy was 1-for-3 with two RBI. 

Potts, Jayden Allison, Cohen Six and McCune each had a walk. Douglas was hit by a pitch, and Sykes had a steal. 

The win moves Hillsboro to 1-8 in the FAC and 2-16 overall. The Tigers are now 2-7 in the FAC and 8-10 overall. 

BOX SCORE
MHS
    001 002 0 — 3 5 2
HHS    000 530 x — 8 6 1

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