Eagles vs. Eagles: Middle School Baseball Championship

It was the Horizon Honors’ Eagles versus the Joy Christian Eagles in the championship, and despite the loss, the team celebrated a wonderful season.

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Photo Courtesy of Kelleigh Hogan

The team gathers around for a team meeting before starting their game. They played Joy Christian in the middle school baseball championship on Feb. 6 at 3:30 p.m. at Victory Lanes.

Kelleigh Hogan, Editor of Sports and Student Life

When starting the season, many hoped for such a situation: Horizon Honors’ middle school baseball team in the finals of the post-season tournament. After nine regular season games, a six win, two loss, one tie record guaranteed that Horizon Honors had a place in the tournament, being ranked third; then, two wins in the quarterfinals and semifinals rocketed the team to the finals against Joy Christian on Thursday, Feb. 6, at 3:30 p.m. at Victory Lanes. Although the game didn’t end favorably, the team found their season to be one of their best.

The first inning for Horizon Honors was rather unsuccessful as the starting pitcher for Joy Christian threw two strikeouts and the fielding behind guaranteed another out. However, three singles for Joy Christian resulted in two runs, but several good fielding plays ended the inning short: a play from pitcher Jake Matise to first baseman Blake Hookom, a fly out caught by center fielder Matt McBride, and play from second baseman Austin Deming to Hookom. The inning ended two to zero, in favor of Joy Christian.

The second inning was another three-batter one for Horizon Honors: two strikeouts and a catch by the first baseman. Fortunately, for Horizon Honors, it was a three-batter inning for Joy Christian with a play between shortstop Brian Kalmer and Hookom and two strikeouts thrown by Matise. There was a similar ending as the previous inning with a score of two to zero.

Starting off the third inning, McBride hits a single as does Ben Deming, but three outs ended the inning. Three singles and a walk gave Joy Christian two more runs, but notable plays by Horizon Honors did end the inning quicker: a strikeout by Matise, pickoff in a play between Austin Deming and Hook, and caught fly ball by Austin Deming. The inning ends with a score of four to zero.

To start of the inning, Kalmer hit a ground-rule double, and both Hookom and Austin Deming got on base, but the inning ended before anyone can score. Like the previous innings, three innings result in three runs, and yet again, three instances of a strong defense end the inning. These would happen to be a play between Kalmer and Hookom, force out of a batter, and a strikeout. The fourth inning had score of six runs to zero in favor of Joy Christian.

Adam Paniagua and Austin Deming hit two singles; despite the excellent hits, the inning ended too short for them to score. With two batters on base from the dropped third strike rule and a single, Joy Christian got a triple, and another single brought home all three, resulting in three more runs. The inning ended with a score of nine runs to zero with the game ending if Horizon Honors is unable to rally.

Despite a single by Ben Rafalski, the new pitcher for Joy Christian threw two strikeouts, and a caught fly ball in deep center ended the inning. The game ended with a score of nine to zero runs in favor of Joy Christian. However, the team felt proud of their wins to get there and stated that it was an excellent season.