Heartland moves to 4-0 with Sunday sweep
Different day, same result. Heartland Community College‘s baseball team took game one against a national JUCO power and finished the day with a second win against another team with games under its belt.
The Hawks began the day by shaking off the effects of a error-ridden game two on Saturday and responded with a big 10-2 win over NJCAA D1 powerhouse Potomac State. Lefty Jacob Hendren (Normal U-High ’12) got the start on the mound and was able to secure his first collegiate win by scattering eight hits over four innings. Hendren allowed only one earned run, while striking out eight and walking only one. Greg Castello pitched two solid innings, allowing one earned run on four hits. Frank Waliczek closed it out for the Hawks in a scoreless seventh inning. And surely Coach Josh Kauten is smiling from a long distance (as he awaits the birth of a child) as the Hawks’ staff had 10 strike outs, while walking only one.
Heartland made the most of their eight hits and five walks, scoring 10 runs in the contest. Kenny Mahala led the attack with two hits, one run, one RBI, and a stolen base. Eric Fight (Normal Community ’12) went two for three, with two RBI. Evin Natick had one hit, two RBI, and two walks. The Hawks remained as aggressive as usual, going six for six on stolen bases.
Potomac’s record is 3-4.
Game two saw the Hawks take on a team, like all the others on the weekend, that has been playing for several weeks. It was Heartland that played like the well seasoned team, topping Cecil College, 6-2.
Daniel Lietz went all seven innings for the Hawks, allowing only one earned run and just three hits. And once again, a Hawk pitcher has raised the bar for others on the Hawk staff by striking out nine and walking only one.
In this contest the Hawks bats were lively, collecting 10 hits, three of them doubles. Andre Sopena and Andrew McCafferty both went two for three, with Sopena collecting two RBI and McCafferty a double.
Heartland’s record is now 4-0, while Cecil sits at 4-6.
Head coach Nate Metzger was pleased with what he saw this weekend on the mound. “We really pitched and competed well. All four starters were effective and as a staff we only walked six in the four games. That certainly will give you a chance to win. A lot of credit to Coach Kauten.”
Overall, coaches Metzger and Knox were pleased with the opening weekend effort. Coach Metzger said of the four games, “We will get better offensively. Our running game was effective and we found ways to overcome adversity and win a couple close games vs quality opponents. I was pleased with our effort and intensity. The overall energy and atmosphere was good. We obviously have a long way to go and have to continue to improve.”