Robert Gordon challenged his team this past week to work on pitching and timely hits, and the Hawks responded with a 3-1 record and the 2010 Union County Tournament championship. Not only did the Hawks have four good pitching performances, their defensive effort stepped up, allowing 12 total hits in the two-day tourney.
“We were just trying to focus on throwing strikes and let our defense play and maybe we could get some timely hits. None of that has been going our way lately,” Gordon said. “We have a chance of putting a pretty good defensive team out there and if we make the routine plays, some of the tough plays are going to come, but that goes back to throwing strikes and not keeping your defense flat on their heels.”
Myrtle opened their tourney run avenging a recent loss to the Bulldogs, defeating New Albany 7-1.
The Hawks opened with three runs in the first, capped by a two-run home run by Jimel Judon. Myrtle would add two more runs in the second after loading the bases.
Russ Yates had the second home run for the Hawks, as his two-run shot made it 7-1.
Beau Cummings held New Albany to only two hits in the game, one of which a solo home run by Taylor Goode in the fourth. Judon had three RBI and Cummings two for the Hawks.
“Jimel’s was big because obviously it gave us the lead, but the big cushion in the end with Russ’ really allowed us to expand, then we could allow for a few mistakes and allow our pitcher to have some faults and have something not go our way,” Gordon said. “That’s something you always talk about, expanding the lead, especially going into the last inning. When you have a good offensive team like New Albany, you need to have as many runs as possible because they’re explosive.”
In Thursday’s final game, Adam Baker’s single was the difference maker; scoring two and giving Myrtle the 4-3 win over East Union.
The Hawks hit four straight singles with one out in the fifth with Baker’s putting Myrtle ahead.
East Union scored first in the contest, as they loaded the bases for D.J. Armstrong, who hit a two RBI single.
Myrtle tied the game over the next two innings of a triple by Austin Floyd and an error in the third brought home Sean Wiginton.
East Union placed runners on first and third with two outs in the fourth with Trey Barkley bringing in the go-ahead run.
Jimel Judon picked up the win, allowing three runs off three hits.
The Hawks dropped one game in the tournament, their first on Friday against Ingomar, 4-0. In that game, the Falcons allowed only two hits, while Josh Conlee struck out five Hawk batters.
Ingomar opened the scoring with two runs off two Myrtle errors in the second inning and sealed the win with insurance runs in the third and fourth. Adam Baker had the loss for Myrtle despite only allowing three hits.
“We had four great pitching performances, even in our loss against Ingomar,” Gordon said. “I thought Adam, who doesn’t have that much experience on the mound, did real well. He threw strikes and gave us a chance to win.”
Baker would have an RBI double in the Hawks’ final game, sealing the 4-3 win over West Union. Down 3-1, the Eagles came back in the fourth inning, tying the game off a two RBI single by Will Basil. Russ Yates pitched a complete game and was able to hold off another Eagle rally in the fifth, as West Union loaded the bases off one hit and two walks.
Myrtle built their lead on a three run inning that started with an Eagle error and three Myrtle hits. Yates and Beau Cummings each had RBI hits, a double from Yates and single by Cummings that put the Hawks in the lead.
Looking ahead, the Hawks will travel to Ingomar on Tuesday and participate in the Lafayette Tournament this weekend.