Tuesday, April 30, 2002
HOOD RIVER — Perhaps borrowing a chapter from the Seattle Mariners’ playbook, the Horizon Christian baseball team pulled off an amazing comeback Tuesday to beat Sherman County 6-5.
In fact, the Hawks had to come from
behind twice and break a tie in the final three innings to pull off their first league win of the season.
Behind clutch hitting, consistent pitching, top-notch glove work and a little something called speed, the Hawks rallied to give pitcher Sheldon Diers a much deserved win.
“Sheldon pitched one heckuva game,” said first baseman John Winters, who drove home Joel Stenberg in the seventh for the game-winner.
“He just shut ‘em down. And the guys played great defense behind him,” he said.
In the late innings, anyway. Horizon committed two crucial errors in the first inning to fall behind 3-0 before taking to the plate. But like the warriors they have proven themselves to be, the Hawks never believed they wouldn’t come back.
“We didn’t help ourselves in the early innings, but we were able to survive,” coach Jim Brown said. “Brian (Stenberg) and Cheyne (Swick) played great ‘D’ and Sheldon battled the whole way. Plus, we got the key hits at the right time.”
One such hit came in the bottom of the fifth inning. Down 3-2, catcher Aaron Griffin delivered a base knock to right field with two on and two down to tie the game.
Then, after Sherman County went up 4-3 in the sixth, Horizon answered with two runs in the bottom half of the inning on a two-run double by freshman Dane Ueland.
A defensive miscue by Diers in the top of the seventh allowed the Huskies to tie the game, but a determined Hawks offense turned it on in the bottom of seven to
reclaim the lead.
Joel Stenberg led off with a double, and after a Griffin strikeout, scored the winning run on Winters’ first hit of the game — a soft single to right field.
“All I was seeing the whole game were slow pitches, but the first pitch of the at-bat, he threw it right down the tube,” Winters said. “I was kind of feeling like the goat earlier, and it feels good to help the team like this.”
Horizon followed up Tuesday’s win with a 16-2 non-league win over Trout Lake Thursday. Ueland started at pitcher and went four innings, giving up the only two runs in the first. Michael Stenberg pitched a scoreless fifth and sixth.
The big offensive innings were the fourth, when the Hawks scored eight runs, and the sixth, when they scored five. Horizon is 6-6 on the season; 1-2 in league.