Late rally can’t save HVA baseball season

HARDIN VALLEY — For the second time in less than a week, Hardin Valley Academy’s baseball team made an improbable comeback against West.

Overcoming a 7-1 deficit late to beat the Runnin’ Rebels 10-9 in eight innings at KWHS Monday, May 1, the Hawks were down to their last out, trailing 5-1 during opening round District 4-AAA Tournament action early Saturday afternoon, May 6, at HVA.

After singles from Dawson

Byard and Bryce Jenkins each drove in a run in the bottom of the seventh inning, both hits with two-strike counts, Cam Fisher drilled a two-RBI triple to deep right field tying the game 5-5.

However, No. 6 seed West used a walk and hit batter plus an infield error to plate the go-ahead run in the eighth, beating No. 3 seed Hardin Valley 6-5.

“It was a great comeback,” HVA head coach Joe Michalski said.

“We’ve showed that all year, that we can come back no matter what the circumstances,” Byard said.

Hardin Valley’s season came to a close in Maryville Sunday, May 7, following a 10-2 loss to Heritage. The Hawks finished the season 16-16. West improved to 26-9 after the opening round win.

Defensively, “Dawson Byard made an incredible play in center field. .... Cam Fisher made some unbelievable plays in left field,” Michalski said.

A diving stop and put-out at third base by Jared Lugo prevented at least two more Runnin’ Rebels runs in the eighth inning.

Nathan Johnson, Hawks starting pitcher, allowed three earned runs, five hits and three walks in five innings.

Chase Marine, West starting pitcher, went 6 2/3 innings, allowing one earned run and one hit — a sixth-inning RBI single from Fisher — with seven strikeouts.