Hicks exorcises Demons en route to Class C finals

Will Norris | BWS Sports
Hicks' standout Hunter Thacker threw three innings of no-hit ball to get the win Tuesday over the Downsville Demons in the Class C semifinals, 11-1.

SULPHUR - Downsville had the early lead.

But it didn't last for long.

Dylan Williams drove in three runs, while Hunter Thacker fired three innings of no-hit ball as the top-seeded Hicks Pirates destroyed the fifth-ranked Downsville Charter Demons in the Class C semifinals on Tuesday at the LHSAA state baseball tournament at McMurry Park, 11-1.

With the win, the Pirates will go for a 14th state baseball championship against a very familiar opponent in the Hornbeck Hornets. The Hornets derailed Harrisonburg earlier Tuesday, 7-1.

The Demons put a run on the board in the top of the first inning, but Hicks responded on a single and three-base error in the bottom of the frame, allowing Williams to tie the game, 1-1.

Hicks added two runs to the board in the second inning, but it seemed as if the Demons were ready to push ahead, loading the bases in the third with no outs.

However, Thacker entered in relief of Hayden Doyle and struck out the next three batters on nine pitches, shutting down the threat.

After that, it was all Hicks. The Pirates broke things open in the fourth with six runs, building a 9-1 lead. 

Zach Haymon got an RBI when he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the fifth and Conner Helton drove in the game-ending run with a single to lift the Pirates to the win by mercy rule.

Thacker struck out six batters in three innings of work to earn the win. Doyle worked the first two innings.

Williams went 4-for-4 with a double and three RBIs, while Helton added two hits, two RBIs and a run scored.

Haymon had one hit and three stolen bases, while Brad Pelt and Aiden Coffman each connected on a double.

Drew Clark suffered the loss, giving up nine runs on eight hits with five strikeouts. Jesse Every had two hits and an RBI, while C.J. Viola had a hit and run scored.