Friday, April 17, 2015

Pincher Creek's Hawks begin baseball season properly with come from behind win over Picture Butte Kings

2015 Hawks High School Baseball Team

Chris Davis

Pincher Creek's Hawks High School baseball team played their first full game of the season on the evening of April 16 at home at Sproule Field. They hosted the Picture Butte Kings, and the Hawks managed to pull out a 15-14 come from behind win after 7 breezy innings. The Hawks travelled to Kainai for what was supposed to be their first game of the season two days before, on April 14, but were disappointed when Kainai had to forfeit due to a lack of players.

The Hawks were down 3-1 at the end of the first inning against the Kings, and the Kings built on that lead in the second, scoring 4 unanswered runs, to be ahead 7-1 going into the third. The Hawks began to find their groove in the third, which proved to be a much more even contest, with the Hawks managing to outscore the Kings 4-3. 

Hawks starting pitcher Matthew Duncan
The fourth inning went to the pitchers, with no runs scored by either team. Each team scored 4 runs in the fifth inning, and the score at the top of the sixth was 14-9 for the Kings. With the wind blowing colder and daylight ebbing, it wasn't looking favourable for the Hawks. Then Hawks pitcher Tyson Goodreau shut the Kings down in quick order, three up and three down, followed by the best at bat of the game for the Hawks, who scored 6 runs (almost 7) to be ahead 15-14 with one inning left. With the daylight rapidly fading now, the Kings went to bat one last time, but the Hawks shut them down quickly again to win the game. Chase Healy of the Hawks delivered the big hit in the bottom of the sixth that propelled the Hawks over the line into victory.

Hawks starting pitcher Matthew Duncan had the somewhat unenviable task of breaking in the field, fronting a team that was seemingly still finding its feet in the early innings. I predict a breakthrough year for this young athlete, his consistency appears to be much improved. He threw 14 first-pitch strikes and 4 strikeouts in three innings. The Kings cycled through three or four pitchers throughout the game. Kyle Davies threw 5 strikeouts for the Kings and earned a WHIP metric of 4.00. Tyson Goodreau made the most of his four innings on the mound for the Hawks, delivering the most strikeouts of the game (8), the most first-pitch strikes (16), and also earned the best WHIP metric of the game (2.00). Goodreau is also the sole left handed batter for the Hawks. Eric Davies of the Kings was the top batter of the game with 4 hits, 6 RBI, and a Quality At Bat score of 4. Beau Walter of the Hawks also earned 6 RBI and a Quality At Bat score of 4.

Jaeger Hann Batting for the Hawks
The Hawks didn't field a team last season, but most of their roster has played with each other before as Dust Devils. There are three new players that weren't on the Dust Devils roster last year - Tyson Goodreau, Chase Healy, and Brandt Sabo. They fit in seamlessly. Head Coach Bryan Burns inherited a disciplined and mutually supportive team from Dust Devils coach Bryan Mackenzie. 

Tyson Goodreau pitching for the Hawks
"These guys have all played before, so they kind of had an idea of what to do, and what not to do. And a lot of them have played together, so that's a nice thing, they support each other in that way," coach Burns said after the game. He's coaching baseball for the first time, but he's coached other sports. "This is the first time, so (I'm) getting right thrown into the mix, but the guys are pretty good so far, so it's kind of nice. It makes my job easier." It's a young team, with two players in grade 9, one in grade 11, and the rest in grade 10. "There was a couple times today I had to have them mind themselves a few times, but they learn pretty quick and I think they understood that it's more a game of respect than jokes," said Burns.

Kyle Davies pitching for the Kings
According to Coach Burns the Hawks were still finding their feet early on in the game. After that "I think the guys just settled in, and they started feeling it as a team. That was nice to see, they kind of joined together and they didn't give up." Of Chase Healy's big play at bat in the sixth Burns said "He felt pretty down when he missed that pop fly in the field, and one of his first at bats, actually, the ball caught his hand and ripped it open so he as all bloody. He's a pretty quiet guy, but you could definitely tell that he was pretty fired up after he got it. It was a big thing for him, everyone, really, it's what got the win was that big last inning."

Of Tyson Goodreau's stellar turn on the mound Coach Burns said "Tyson went right through, I said 'Why didn't you tell me you could pitch?' and he said 'I was told I had to play shortstop'. Everyone chipped in, look at the batting, too. Everyone was on point, and stealing bases, and it was good."

Brandon Giesbrecht was also singled out for praise for his efforts as Hawks catcher.

The defaulted Kainai game was disappointing for the Hawks, according to coach Burns. "Yeah, they only had seven players... we won by forfeit and we kind of scrimmaged with them, but it was kind of lacklustre. It was way colder, the wind was blowing, we got there and our dugout was on its back, so the boys turned it over. Their coach actually ended up having to catch for them in the second inning. It was a little bit of a down point for the boys, they were all excited getting in there... and then you don't get a game. I told them the bad news that they won by forfeit and they didn't consider that a win."

"It was pretty cool to hear the guys say they didn't consider that a win, they had to earn it."

The Hawks are a mixed-school team, something they seem to have turned to their advantage. "There's four from St. Mikes, and the rest, six, are from Halton. But it's kind of cool too, they all get along." There are 10 teams in the Northwest division of the Southern Alberta High School Basketball League, "So you only play everyone once, and then you meet up in the post season." 

Hawks Team Manager Carrah Walter also manages the Dust Devils little league teams and the Fort Macleod Royals (Tyson Goodreau was a Royals player last season). She's a dedicated, busy lady. Among many other things she keeps track of the stats, and is immeasurably helpful to the press. Thanks again Carrah! She tells me Dust Devils Little League practices start next Monday, April 20. Games haven't been scheduled yet. "We'll have an organizational meeting with Chinook West in the next couple weeks to figure out which towns have teams, and schedule from there."

"Our Junior Dust Devils, there's not enough players to make a full team, so we might merge our teams together with the Crowsnest Pass and make a travel team." Some members of that team may come from the Hawks, pulling double duty. "Some of these boys are still eligible to play little league, so they can play both."

Upcoming Dust Devils practices:
  • Monday T-ball on the 20th at 6:00-7:00 at Juan Teran Diamond B. 
  • Coach Pitch at Juan Teran on Diamond C. 
  • Minors at Lion's Park from 6:00-7:00. 
  • Majors will start Tuesday the 21st at Lions Park from 6:00-7:00 and 
  • Wednesday Tball will start on the 22nd at Juan Teran Diamond B from 6:00-7:00
Next Hawks game: Monday April 20 at home hosting the Knights at Sproule Field, beginning at 5:30 pm.

2015 Hawks High School Baseball Team

Tyson Goodreau #52
Brandon Giesbrecht #51
Mitchell Zoratti #4
Michael Svab #20
Deloy Mackenzie #5
Beau Walter #3
Brandt Sabo #17
Jaeger Hann #55
Chase Healy #18
Matthew Duncan #53

Head Coach Bryan Burns
Coach Chris Hales
Manager Carrah Walter

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for taking the time to comment. Comments are moderated before being published. Please be civil.

Infinite Scroll