BASEBALL: Northwest puts Heritage’s win streak on ice
In weather more suited for hockey, the Northwest Whitfield Bruins took advantage of six Heritage errors and handed the Class AAAA’s No. 5-ranked team their first region loss of the season, 3-2, on a bone-chilling Tuesday night in Boynton.
With the game-time temperature hovering at the freezing mark and snow blowing all over the Heritage baseball complex, the Generals pushed home a run in the bottom of the third inning to take a 2-1 lead in Game 1 of the three-game series.
But in the top of fourth, an error, a catcher’s interference call, a base hit on a swinging bunt and a fielder’s choice helped the Bruins score twice to take the lead.
Then starting pitcher Ethan Cronan did the rest.
Cronan finished off the complete-game victory by shutting out the Generals over the last four innings, although he had to work out of trouble spot in Heritage’s final three at-bats.
Courtesy runner Corbee Wilson was left stranded at second base in the bottom of the fifth and Johnathan Hickman was left at third in the sixth. Then in the seventh, Luke Grant led off the inning with a single and was eventually moved around to third. However, a long fly ball to center would end the game with Hickman still 90 feet from tying the game.
Cronan scattered eight hits and did not walk a batter to get the win for the Bruins (7-6, 3-1). Both runs he allowed were earned and he finished the night with six strikeouts, including a key one for out three in the last of the sixth.
Grant was 2-for-2 with an RBI, while Joseph Hill also went 2-for-2. Hickman drove in a run, while Cole Wilcox doubled and scored for Heritage (8-3 overall, 3-1 in Region 6-AAAA).
Alex Barbee pitched the first four innings for the Generals and ended up with the loss. He allowed five hits and three runs, all unearned, with a walk and four strikeouts. Grant threw the last three innings and did not allow a hit.
Heritage will travel to Tunnel Hill to face Northwest in Game 2 of the series on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. The series will shift back to Heritage for the finale Friday at 5:30.