NOBLESVILLE – One of the hardest things to do in sports is beat a team three times in a single season.
After sweeping Hamilton Southeastern in both regular season Hoosier Crossroads Conference games, the Zionsville Eagles drew a third date with the Royals to open the Class 4A IHSAA Noblesville baseball sectional.
While the pitching was there for the Eagles Thursday night, the offense was not. Hamilton Southeastern plated single runs in the second and third innings to eliminate the Eagles 2-0.
“I knew it was going to be a tough game like this and it was going to come down to us getting some key hits in some key situations but unfortunately we couldn’t do that,” Zionsville coach Jered Moore said.
Zionsville (16-13) held a 6-5 edge in hits on the evening, but the Royals (12-16) were more efficient with their hits.
Hamilton Southeastern only needed one hit to plate its first run in the bottom of the second inning. A single by No. 9 hitter Erik DeWael plated Brandon Burns to give the Royals the lead for good.
Key hits were also big to getting HSE’s second run. Tre Gantt and Matt Gorski led off the bottom of the second with singles before David Herrmann scored Hantt from second on an RBI single. Burns would follow with a walk to load the bases and chase starting pitcher Kellan Elsbury with just one out in the inning.
Reliever Trevor Fox was able to quickly douse the fire, as he earned a strikeout and tagged Gorski out at home after he tried to score on a passed ball. The quick action of Travis Tokarek prevented the third run from scoring on the mistake.
Unfortunately, two runs was all Hamilton Southeastern starting pitcher Bryan Roberts would need. Robert threw five solid innings of shutout ball and struck out six to earn the win.