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HVA rallies to tie West, then falls in nine-inning home opener

Chase Kirk’s second-inning leadoff single was much like Hardin Valley Academy’s first three-and-one-half innings versus West: a nice play, then a key mistake.

Though Kirk was picked off first after rounding the bag too hard, and though West led 4-0 midway through this chilly neighborhood baseball clash at HVA Tuesday, Kirk and the Hawks would respond.

A three-run HVA fifth-inning, highlighted by Kirk’s two-out, two-RBI double deep to centerfield, tied the game 4-4.

And with Kirk mostly locking down the Rebels’ offense during three-and-one-third innings of relief pitching work, the issue stayed tied through eight innings.

But a hit-batter and a two-out throwing error in the top of the ninth brought home West’s eventual game-winning run in a 5-4 final March 16. The Hawks fall to 0-2.

“I’m super proud of the effort,” HVA head coach Kirk Renegar said. “The bullpen was phenomenal, they came out and competed from the first pitch to the last pitch.”

Individually, Renegar said Kirk “did a great job on the mound ... pitched into and out of trouble.

“A huge two-out double.”

Also in relief, “I can’t be happier, pitching-wise, with Tommy Weiler,” the coach said of his freshman lefty reliever who got a key out during a sixth-inning jam.

“Nick Simonelli, for the second straight night, comes in and is great on the mound,” Renegar said of his junior reliever who worked one-and-one-third innings, allowing no runs and two hits with one strikeout.

Offensively, Clay Fielden ended with three hits for the Hawks while scoring the tying run.

Jake Denton got HVA on the board with a fourth-inning RBI single, scoring Ty Zollmann.

Clay Williams laid down a beautiful bunt single, then had his two-out, eighth-inning double down the right field line wasted despite reaching third on a throwing error.

Zach Ahmad matched Williams with a nifty bunt single that helped fuel HVA’s fifth-inning rally.


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