Highland: Sports

HHS pushes across three runs in seventh to win season opener

HIGHLAND HIGH SCHOOL VARSITY BASEBALL TEAM Front row from left, Jon Dickman, Luke Landmann, Mitchell Focht, Evan Herman, Elliott Prott, Dillon Knebel, Jake Ramsey, Nick Schaible, Steven Diaz, Dustin Phelps, Robert Sigman; back row, Colten Knebel, Garrett Marti, Mike Riffel, Connor Pinsker, Braden Rehkemper, Kyle Schlater, Payne Waldman, Brock Troxell and Jacob Willis.
HIGHLAND HIGH SCHOOL VARSITY BASEBALL TEAM Front row from left, Jon Dickman, Luke Landmann, Mitchell Focht, Evan Herman, Elliott Prott, Dillon Knebel, Jake Ramsey, Nick Schaible, Steven Diaz, Dustin Phelps, Robert Sigman; back row, Colten Knebel, Garrett Marti, Mike Riffel, Connor Pinsker, Braden Rehkemper, Kyle Schlater, Payne Waldman, Brock Troxell and Jacob Willis. dfussner@bnd.com

The Highland High School baseball team pushed across three runs in the top of the seventh inning to rally for a 6-3 win over the host Freeburg Midgets on Monday in both teams’ season opener.

The game was a scoreless draw until the bottom of the fifth when Midgets (0-1) grabbed the game’s first lead with a pair of runs.

Not to be outdone, the Bulldogs (1-0) answered right back with a three-run top of the sixth to claim the lead.

After Freeburg scored a single tally to deadlock the game at 3-all in the home half of the sixth, Highland responded with another three-run rally, this time to clinch the victory.

Junior second baseman Brock Troxell got the game-winning rally started with a one-out single to center field. After advancing to second base, Troxell stole third base and then scored the go-ahead run on a single from sophomore right fielder Jonathan Dickman.

After Dickman swiped second base, sophomore shortstop Jacob Willis lined a single to center to put runners on the corners. Next, Dickman scored on a ground out by junior pitcher/first baseman Connor Pinsker to make it 5-3.

Also on Pinsker’s RBI ground out, Willis ran hard on the play and made it all the way to third, where he then scored on a wild pitch to account for the game’s final run.

Willis, Pinsker and junior center fielder Garrett Marti each rapped out two hits apiece, while junior designated hitter Dylan Knebel added a double and a game-high two RBIs.

Freeburg actually outhit Highland 12-10.

The Midgets were led by five players with two hits each: Braeden Chandler, Jordan Fritz, Garrett Garland, John Hilpert and Jack Lugge.

For the Bulldogs on the mound, the left-handed Pinsker tossed a shutout through the first four innings but Freeburg touched him for two runs in the fifth. Garland led off with a double to center, advanced to third on a sacrifice and then scored on a Hilpert’s ground out to first base.

Then with two outs, Landon Touchette socked a solo home run to right field to give the Midgets a short-lived 2-0 lead.

Pinsker’s pitching line ended up as follows: two earned runs on seven hits and one walk with one strikeout in 4  2/3 innings.

Highland rallied for a three-run top of the sixth. Three consecutive one-out singles from Willis, Pinsker and Marti (RBI) knocked in Willis to cut Freeburg’s lead in half. Then after the second out, Knebel clubbed a double to left field to chase home both Pinsker and Marti and give the Bulldogs a 3-2 advantage.

Chandler’s one-out RBI double to right in the top of the seventh off senior right-hander Jake Ramsey tied the game.

However, the Bulldogs’ rally in the seventh made a winner out of Ramsey (1-0), who gave up the one run on three hits and one walk with two strikeouts.

Junior Robert Sigman pitched a scoreless seventh to pick up the save for Highland. He allowed one hit and struck out one.

Cal Clossen (0-1) suffered the defeat for the Midgets after being knocked around for five earned runs on six hits in only 1  1/3 innings of work.

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