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Highland Baseball Gets First Win With Breakout Fourth Inning Rally

Highland Baseball Gets First Win With Breakout Fourth Inning Rally

A big fourth inning was all the Highland baseball team needed to notch their first win of the 2024 season on Tuesday.

Holding just a 2-1 after three innings, the Bulldogs bats erupted in the bottom fourth with nine runs to short-game Freeburg for an 11-1 mercy rule victory at Glik Park in Highland.

“It was 2-1 game until the bottom of the fourth and then we scored all those runs after they had to go away from their starter,” Highland coach Joel Hawkins said. “The kids got off to a good start with swings, so that part of was good too.”

Freeburg scored its only run if the day in the top the first off Highland starter Trent Clemons in the top of the first, going up 1-0.

Highland (1-0) answered in the bottom of the first as Jake Ottensmeier scored from third on Trey Koishor’s RBI-groundout to third tying it at 1-1.

The Bulldogs moved ahead 2-1 in the bottom of the second when Koishor scored on a wild pitch with Clemons at the plate.

“Clemons had an eight pitch at bat and one of those pitches went back to the backstop and Trey scored,” Hawkins said.

In the bottom of the fourth, Highland rattled the bats on Freeburg hurlers Christian Giovando, Robert Fritz, and Joey Pruett.

Deklan Riggs struck the big blow of the frame with a two-run single and Keaton Favre added a run-scoring single keying a nine-run outburst putting HHS in control with an 11-1 cushion.

“After they went to their second pitcher it was pretty wild nut we had eight hits and hit the ball hard several other times, so clearly this is a better start in terms of putting the ball in play,” Hawkins said.

Clemons got the win on the mound for Highland going four innings, striking out four and walking one while giving up one run.

Knebel pitched a scoreless fifth inning in relief.

Giovando took the loss for Freeburg which dropped to 1-1.

Highland returns to action on Friday with a 4:30 p.m. home game at Glik Park against Moline.

Freeburg is on the road against Wesclin on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m.

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