Halfmann Shines in Relief as Hawks Hold off Miles
WALL, TX—The fourth-ranked Wall Hawks held off Miles to win 9-5 in non-district action Tuesday evening.
Miles took an early lead despite Wall senior Mitchell Horton striking out the second and third Bulldog hitters. Nicky Perez opened the scoring with an RBI single to score Mason Bryan to make it 1-0 after one inning.
The Hawks were unable to navigate Miles’ Ross Kalina in the first inning, only notching a single in the hit column.
After allowing a leadoff single to Sterling Barker who would reach second on a passed ball, Horton would strike out Brandon Rodriguez and Noel Sanchez before getting Jose Mata to ground a ball back to the mound for a scoreless second frame.
The Hawks would send seven batters to the plate in the home half of the second, scoring Gage Weishuhn on a bases loaded walk and Hunter Teplicek on a wild pitch to take a 2-1 lead into the third inning.
Miles would load the bases in the third with nobody out to end Horton’s night. Will Brown came in to limit the damage of the situation. After allowing a walk to Perez to tie the game up, Brown would induce a tailor-made 6-4-3 double-play with no outs that allowed the final Bulldog run to cross in the third inning at 3-2 Miles.
Dryden Virden got a one-out rally started for the Hawks with a base hit and a stolen base in the third inning. Weishuhn would then line a shot through the glove of Mata to drive in Virden to level the game at three. Brown would continue things with two outs by driving in Weishuhn with a base hit through the middle of the infield to give the Hawks a 4-3 lead going to the fourth.
Brown would face four batters, striking out two, in the fourth inning without allowing a run.
The Hawks would then bleed the Bulldogs and relief pitcher Flores for four runs on three hits to break open an 8-3 lead in the bottom of the fourth.
The Bulldogs would narrow the lead to 8-5 after a couple of base hits from Kalina and Stihl Hoffman as well as bases loaded walks to Flores and Brandon Rodriguez.
But the Hawks tacked on an insurance run in the sixth thanks to an RBI base hit to left field from Baylor Halfmann to go up 9-5.
“We had situations late in the game that we didn’t do a good job at the plate of eliminating the strikeout and adding to our lead,” Wall Head Coach Jason Schneirs said. “I thought we lost our focus a little bit. So being able to score those runs early in the game proved to be the difference in the game. We’ve got to be better at staying focused through the whole game. With this lineup and with this team, we’re capable of putting up numbers like that every inning.”
Halfmann would also throw three solid innings of relief for the Hawks in which he didn’t allow a single hit or run while striking out four.
“[Baylor] is a big boost to our team,” Schneirs said of his 6-foot-2 right hander. “We’ve got some guys whose arms are a little tired, a little sore. So we’re resting those guys because we know it’s going to be a long season for us.”
The Hawks improve to 9-2-1 in 2018 while Miles falls to 3-6.
Wall will play in the Snyder Tournament this Thursday through Friday.