It was quite the roller coaster ride.
It was quite the roller coaster ride.
The Hornbeck Hornets and Hicks Pirates combined for combined for 23 runs and 23 hits on Friday night in a non-district game.
But it was the final three runs of the contest which went in favor of the Hornets, thus giving them a 13-10 victory over the homestanding Pirates.
With the win, Hornbeck, the second-place team in District 5-B, improved to 17-9 overall, while the Pirates, champions of District 4-C, dropped to 14-12 on the season.
Starting pitcher Anthony Gonzales got off to a fast start, retiring the side in order in the top of the first to give the Pirates a chance to break into the scoring column.
And they did just that.
With one out, Austin Wilson doubled to right center, took third on a passed ball and scored on another passed ball, giving Hicks a 1-0 lead.
The Pirates continued to get runners on base. With two outs, Ty Helton drew a walk from Hornbeck starter Matt Alford and eventually reached third when Gonzales singled to right.
However, the inning came to an end when Ty Williams grounded out to Shannon Hale at second base.
Gonzales had a little more trouble to deal with in the second inning, giving up a leadoff double to Braley Browning, who moved to third when Hale singled to right. Hale eventually moved to second on an indifference, but neither runner scored as Gonzales retired the next three batters.
After Hicks was retired in order by Alford, the Hornets came back up to bat and went to work.
Hornbeck collected five hits off of Gonzales in the third and also took advantage of a couple of Hicks' errors to score seven times to take the lead. Browning spanked a two-run single to left, while Allen Beaird and Hale each connected for an RBI as the Hornets opened up a six-run lead, 7-1.
Hicks got a run back in the bottom of the third, getting an infield single from Zakk Rogerson to lead things off. He later scored on a groundout by Caleb LaCaze, cutting the deficit to five runs.
The Hornets and Pirates were unable to get anything done in the fourth, but Hornbeck scored twice in the fifth inning to move out to a seven-run cushion, 9-2.
Lee Williams had an RBI-single in the frame and scored on an RBI-single from Alford to extend Hornbeck's lead.
But Hicks was quick to answer with four runs of their own in the bottom of the fifth, getting an RBI-double from Ty Williams and an RBI each from Gonzales and Tyler Scott, cutting the deficit to three runs, 9-6.
Hornbeck tacked on a run in the sixth when Ethan Perkins drove in Browning on a fielder's choice, giving the Hornets a four-run cushion, 10-6.
However, Hicks scored four times in the bottom of the frame, getting an RBI-double from Helton, along with an RBI each from Ty Williams and Nathan Boswell, knotting the game up at 10-10 heading into the seventh.
The Hornets managed to score three times in the seventh to reclaim the lead.
Lee Williams connected on a leadoff double and scored on an RBI-single from Alford for the go-ahead run. A little later, Alford and Beaird scored on a two-run single off the bat of Browning for a 13-10 cushion.
Hicks attempted to rally in the bottom half of the frame, but Alford, who pitched the first three innings of the game and re-entered in relief in the bottom of the sixth, struck out two of the final three batters he faced to secure the win.
Alford pitched a total of 4.2 innings in the win, giving up two runs on four hits with three strikeouts and a walk. Beaird, Logan Hughes and Lee Williams also pitched for the Hornets.
Ty Williams, who pitched the final two innings for Hicks, suffered the loss. Gonzales pitched the first 2.2 innings, while Boswell worked 2.1 innings.
Alford led the Hornets by going 3-for-5 at the plate with a double, two RBIs and two runs scored, while Browning went 3-for-4 with a double, a run scored and four RBIs. Hale and Lee Williams each had two hits and an RBI.
Wilson was 3-for-5 for the Pirates with a double and three runs scored, while LaCaze was 2-for-4 with a double, two runs scored and an RBI. Ty Williams drove in a pair of runs and had a double.