HHS Baseball

Hennessey Baseball v. Chisholm


District play for the 2023 Baseball Eagles got underway Monday evening on the road at the Chisholm Longhorns.  With a strong south wind gusting in the 30’s, fly balls and off-speed pitches were sometimes an adventure.  Hennessey got off to a great start, with three of the first four Eagles reaching base as Westyn Hopkins walks and Jarrett Smith and Sebastian Gonzalez each hit by pitch.  After Hopkins scores on a Longhorn balk, Langston Smith hammers his first home run of the season over the right-centerfield wall, giving the Eagles an early 4-0 lead with only one out. Regan Sturgill strikes out swinging, then Hayden Hubbard singles and steals 2nd base before starting pitcher Jakob Johns knocks him in with a sharp single to center field.  Nic Moery courtesy runs for Johns, and quickly scores on a base hit by Hunter Weber.  Weber is thrown out at 2nd trying to advance on the throw, as the Eagles end the top of the 1st inning with 6 runs scored before the Longhorns first at bat.  

Johns took the mound for his second start and shut the Longhorns down for the first two innings, striking out the first five Chisholm batters he faced, part of 14 total K’s thrown by the Sophomore lefty.  The 3rd inning saw the tables turn quickly for the host team, as the Eagles committed 3 errors (could have been 5), with 3 passed balls, and 3 walks, giving up 8 runs (7 coming after 2 outs) – 0 earned runs, but 8 on the scoreboard.  

The Eagles bats cooled quickly after their 6-run 1st, plating only one run over the next 5 innings, when Sebastian Gonzalez, caught in a run-down between 2nd and 3rd, benefitted from an overthrow to score a lone run in the 6th inning.  

Trailing 8-7 going to the top of the 7th, each of the first two Eagles to the plate were hit by pitches (part of 8 total HBP on the day).  Sophomore 2B, Westyn Hopkins, the Eagles leading hitter with a .444 average, doubled to right, scoring Kevin Trillo and Hunter Weber, giving Hennessey its first lead since the 1st inning.  Hopkins and Seth Simunek each score on a Gonzalez fielder’s choice/error, one of four total Longhorn errors on the day, before the Eagles send it to the bottom of the 7th now holding an 11-8 lead.

With Freshman Jarrett Smith in relief of Johns, who threw 116 pitches on the day, the Longhorns first batter reached on an error.  Following a ground ball out, and a runner on 3rd, ‘horns shortstop Hern slugs a home run to left, trimming the Eagles lead to just one run.  The next batter singles to right, putting the tying run on, with the winning run coming to the plate.  Catcher Sebastian Gonzalez then picks that runner off 1st after the first pitch on a beautiful throw-behind.  With just one more out needed in this one-run game, and the wind still blowing out to right at +30, and the Longhorns back to the top of the order, Chisholm CF Caddell lines an 0-2 pitch to right-center.  Right Fielder Kevin Trillo, already assessed two errors on the day, gets a great jump on the ball, and makes a diving catch for the third out just before the ball hits the ground.  With Trillos’ hat flying and sunglasses tumbling, and the field umpire raising his fist in the air, the Eagles come rumbling out of the dugout in celebration of the 11-10 District 3A-1 victory, giving Jarrett Smith his first Varsity W, and the Eagles (3-2, 1-0) a much needed come from behind win. 

Game #2 of the Eagles’ District 3A-1 series with the Chisholm Longhorns can be summed up as “one hit away.”

After taking an early 1st inning lead for the second straight game, off an RBI double by 2B Westyn Hopkins, followed by a bunt single RBI by 3B Langston Smith, the Eagles saw that early lead evaporate once again, as the Longhorns scored in every inning from the 3rd on.  The Eagles did their share of scoring as well, knocking in 3 runs in the 4th, 1 in the 5th, and 4 runs in the bottom of the 6th inning to give the Eagles the lead 10-9 going to the 7th.  Needing 3 outs to seal the series victory, the Eagles gave up 2 base hits, walked one, and committed a mid-field error which led to the Longhorns tying the game at 10-10 before the Eagles could get that last out.   In the bottom of the 7th Sebastian Gonzalez lead off with a walk and made it around to 3rd base following a Kevin Trillo sacrifice bunt and a Longhorn wild pitch.  90 feet away from their second consecutive come from behind win over the rival Chisholm Longhorns, the Eagles faithful were on the edge of their seats knowing victory was moments away via a passed ball, wild pitch, or base hit.  Jakob Johns popped out to the short stop in shallow center field, pushing the game to extra innings, after being just one hit away from the sweep.  The pitching ran out of gas and suspect fielding did not help matters either.  With four batters hit by pitch, three walks, five base hits, and one fielding error, the Longhorns scored 10 in the 8thto essentially put the game away.  Hennessey did what they could in the bottom of the inning, scoring 4, but it was too little too late, as the Longhorns split the series, winning 20-14.

Senior CF Seth Simunek had his most productive game so far on the season, going 2 for 4 from the plate, with a double on the game’s first pitch, 3 stolen bases, and scoring 3 runs.  Hopkins stayed hot with the bat with 3 base hits, including 1 double, scoring 3 runs with 4 RBI and 2 stolen bases.  Langston Smith went 3 for 3 from the plate.  Sebastian Gonzalez got the start on the mound and pitch 4 2/3, giving up 6 hits, 2 earned runs, while walking 2, and striking out 7.  Hopkins got the loss in relief.  

The Eagles as a team got 14 hits in the game, with 10 base on balls, 7 stolen bases, and 3 players hit by pitch.  Their undoing, however, was 14 runners left on base for the game, and 6 errors defensively. Hennessey (3-3, 1-1) hits the road for its next four games beginning this Friday afternoon at Garber in a 3-way with Frontier before heading to Alva on Monday for a District double-header.