Pirates rally to stun Hornbeck, 4-3
HICKS - For six and two-thirds innings, it was all Hornbeck.
Then Hicks found a little of that Pirate magic.
Hicks scored four two-out runs, the final run coming on a walk-off RBI-single from Conner Helton as the Pirates stunned the Hornets in a District 3-C showdown on Thursday, 4-3.
The Pirates improved to 19-2 overall with the win and virtually clinched the league title.
The game was knotted at 0-0 through four complete innings as Hicks starter Zach Haymon and Hornbeck ace Michael Mason were locked in an intense battle.
Hornbeck drew first blood with a run in the top of the fifth and added another in the sixth to take a 2-0 lead over Hicks.
Hunter Thacker entered to pitch in the seventh for the Pirates and surrendered another run as Hornbeck took a 3-0 advantage.
Mason managed to retire two batters, but gave up a double to Aiden Coffman, who scored on a hit from leadoff batter Dylan Williams, getting the Pirates on the board.
Williams moved to third and Thacker reached to give Hicks runners at the corners. This prompted a Hornbeck pitching change, with Waylon Woodell entering the contest.
Thacker took second on a catcher's indifference before Haymon tied things up with a two-run single with two strikes. Haymon advanced to second on the throw, setting the stage for Helton.
Helton calmly punched a single to the outfield to score Haymon, giving Hicks the improbable comeback victory.
Thacker got the win pitching, going only one inning, giving up a run on no hits with a strikeout. Haymon worked six innings, giving up two runs on three hits with six strikeouts.
Williams went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI and a run scored, while Haymon was 1-for-3 with two RBIs and a run scored. Coffman and Thacker each had a hit and run scored, while Helton had the game-winning RBI.
Mason went 6.2 innings for the Hornets in receiving a no decision. He gave up three runs on five hits with 10 strikeouts. Woodell suffered the loss, giving up a run on two hits.
Caleb Britt and JoJo Weeks each had an RBI, while Parker Alexander had a hit and run scored. Devyn Sharp and Britt each scored a run, while Cayden Fox was 1-for-3 in the loss for Hornbeck.