Heritage School holds on to second place in region
by Doug Gorman
The Heritage School baseball team knows it controls its own destiny.
The Hawks held on to second-place in GISA Region 1-AAA on Thursday at home with a dramatic 3-2 victory over visiting Weber School from Atlanta.
With the game tied 2-2 heading into the bottom of the seventh, Heritage School produced some last-inning fireworks to walk off with the region victory.
The Hawks’ Tyler Henson started the drama with a key at bat to lead off the seventh. With the count 1-1, Henson timed the pitch perfectly and ripped it up the middle for a single. A stolen base and passed ball moved Henson to third. Candler Rich then waited on a two strike pitch and ripped it up the middle for the game-winning hit.
Now, Heritage School faces region games against Trinity Christian and Dominion to close out the region schedule.”
Loganville Christian currently sits in first place, so Heritage School will need some help from other teams if it hopes to sneak into the region title.
“Every game is really big from here on out,” Huffsticker said.
The victory came on a day when it took the Hawks’ offense six innings to wake up. Weber left-handed pitcher Ben Karlin held the Hawks’ hitless through the first five innings before Rich got the first of the team’s four hits.
“It was an ugly game,” Huffstickler said. “They threw a really good left hander against us, and any time that happens, it throws your timing off.”
Heritage School scored the first run of the game before it even had a hit when Brad Mackie was hit by a pitch in the fourth. The Hawks right fielder stole second went to third on a ground out and then scored on a passed by by the Rams’ catcher.
Rich made it 2-0 in the sixth when he scored on a base hit from catcher Luke Crook. After Rich singled in the inning, he went to second on a stole base before Crook’s timely RBI single.
The Hawks nearly secured a shutout against the Rams, but two errors in the inning kept the contest alive.
Weber tied the game at two with two outs against them.
Both starting pitchers turned in stellar efforts, but at the end of the day picked up a no-decision. Heritage’s Mack Wilkins pitched 6 1/3 innings and finished with five strikeouts. Wilkins had at least one strikeout in the first five innings.
Karlin had a no-hitter going through five innings, finishing the game with four strike outs.
Luke Smith came into the game in the seventh and got the win in relief for the Hawks. His relief effort included two strikeouts.
Huffstickler admits he felt confident heading into the bottom of the seventh.
“Tyler Henson had a really big hit, and then Candler came through in a big way,” Huffsticker said. “You want your best players up in that situation.”