Baseball: CL Hawks Find Way to Win in Beating Hondo, 3-2
Canyon Lake won a must win game at home after scoring on a wild pitch in the bottom of the 7th inning with a final of, 3-2.
“This win was huge for us,” Head Coach Trent Dunavant said. “Guys are starting to come around and believe in themselves. We played well against Hondo at their place minus a couple of critical mistakes…So we knew we could win.”
Hondo struck first scoring a run in the top of the 2nd inning after a lead off single and then two batters later a double had the Owls looking good.
With just one out and a batter on 2nd a fly-out to Parker Reno in centerfield and then the last out came from a foul ball behind home plate to end the inning.
Lee Stafford had the play of the game with that catch as this Hawk Field is one of the toughest to play in foul territory, especially for a catcher that has to go through a multitude of protocols to have a chance for a catch.
There is about 15 yards of real estate behind home plate and a catcher has to find the ball first and then have the know-how to run to get in place for that catch.
Not an automatic out to say the least.
“The ball is going to tale and I am checking the wind before the pitch is thrown,” Stafford said with eloquence. “You just have to catch the ball before you catch it.”
That statement would rival Democrat, Nancy Pelosi when she stated that we had to pass the health bill before we could know what was in it….but in that scenario the result was not as good as this Stafford catch.
CL started the bottom of that same inning with a single off the bat of CJ Parrish and then a seeing eye double that just hit inside the chalk line by Avery Montgomery that put two runners in scoring position with no outs.
A strikeout and then a shallow fly-ball resulted in a double play with that catch with a throw out at home plate.
The Hawks could have spiraled down after ending a promising chance for scoring runs based on how this season has been going, but a resilient game was forthcoming.
Canyon Lake would tie the score the next inning when William Gore worked a walk and then stole a base before a Stafford singled which helped in tying the game.
One inning later a lead off walk to Dietrich would eventually give CL a one run lead after a single and error for JT Greene.
Meanwhile, Dietrich was doing his business in keeping the Owls in a drowsy mood with some crafty pitching.
Those middle innings would usually spell doom for CL, but on this night, all three elements were aligned with pitching, fielding, and clutch hitting.
“We have told them all along that if we don’t walk hitters and make the routine plays, then we will have a chance to win at the end of the game,” Coach Dunavant recalled.
Well that was the ammo on this night as that last inning would have all of the above and more.
Hondo led off their last inning with a single and stolen base, then a wild pitch would even the score.
That wild pitch was on a two strike offering when the ball sailed over Stafford’s glove to the cavernous back stop.
“I felt like I needed to strike him out,” relief pitcher Cale Claycomb said. “I tried to throw it a little harder than I needed.”
The ball went wild and a tied game with still runners in scoring position. Stafford would have the finishing touches to this inning when he threw out his second base runner on the night and this time it was at 3rd base to end this inning.
CL has had a year with some quiet bats and now the Hawks would have a lead-off walk to Greene on a 7 pitch at bat to start their half inning.
A lead off bases on ball will score over 70% of the time and this would be the eventual winning score for a Hawk district win.
Caleb Williams sacrifice bunt had Greene in position for a run with a hit….Compton then was intentionally walked to put a force out at any base.
A William Gore hit would load the bases and set the stage for a Hawk win.
“I was scared,” Gore said when responding on what he was thinking when he came to bat. “I’ve been struggling with my at bats and I got my foot down and got it right.”
Gore was commenting on how he had been stepping away from the plate on his at bats which will result in weak grounders or strike outs.
“This game let’s us know we can do it,” Gore commented on what this contest meant to this Hawk team. “This will build our confidence.”
Cade Dunavant would be the next batter with the bases loaded and Hondo calling their left fielder to close this threat down on the pitching mound.
There was just one out and Canyon Lake had helped Hondo with a wild pitch to tie the score and that same result would have the Hawks celebrating a win.
The first pitch thrown went to the back stop as Greyson Lee would speed down the 3rd base line for the winning run.
This Hawk win came with a defense that was all but perfect after committing just one error and an offense that had 7 hits with an added bonus of a good pitching affair having just one walk. “It was good putting it together and our hard work in practice paid off,” Dietrich said in his wind up. “We knew if we came out and had our maximum effort then we could win….we were not perfect but a game like this will get us there.”
It does takes good things to happen for getting a win and the Hawks put themselves in position for this complete game effort and having smiles as a result.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E Hondo Owls 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 2 8 2 CL Hawks 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 3 7 1 ab r h bi 2b bb so misc Cade Dunavant 3 0 0 0 0 0 1 Lee Stafford 3 0 1 0 0 0 1 pr Greyson Lee 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 cs Gavin Dietrich 2 1 0 0 0 1 1 sb CJ Parrish 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 hbp pr Hayden Reed 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Avery Montgomery 3 0 1 0 1 0 0 JT Greene 2 0 1 0 0 1 1 Caleb Williams 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 Dylan Compton 2 0 2 0 0 1 0 pik William Gore 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 sb sac totals 19 3 7 0 1 4 4 pitching ip h r er bb so W L Gavin Dietrich 5.2 5 1 1 1 2 0 0 Cale Claycomb 1.1 3 1 1 0 2 1 0 totals 7.0 8 2 1 1 4 wp: Gavin Dietrich, Cale Claycomb bk: Gavin Dietrich pitches/strikes: Gavin Dietrich 75/43 Cale Claycomb 27/18