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Hawks take playoff series game one behind dynamic duo, 9-0

By Keith Thompson. HEATH –  The Waxahachie Indians cruised into the Hawk’s Nest at Heath High School Thursday evening riding a 14-game unbeaten streak and looking to add the Hawks to their victory list.

Instead, they limped out of Heath for the return ride home completely bruised and battered by the two Hawk All-Americans, Jake Thompson and Jovan Hernandez.

The talented twosome virtually carried the Hawks into the victory circle by combining for two home runs and eight runs batted in as Heath blasted the Indians , 9-0, in game one of the Region II semi-finals in the Texas state 4A playoffs.

Hernandez got things rolling for Heath in the bottom of the first when he made the Indians pay dearly for walking Thompson. Waxahachie deliberately stayed away from the red-hot Thompson when he strode to the plate with one out and Bret Boswell on first base.

Thompson very patiently and unselfishly refused to chase pitches out of the zone and took his walk. Hernandez then stepped in and crushed the first offering from Indian starter Nick Moore off of the indoor workout facility for a three-run homer.

This set up the second inning when Thompson came to bat with two runners aboard. With the recent image of Hernandez’s blast fresh on their minds, Waxahachie decided to challenge “Big Jake.”

Bad decision.

Thompson added to his post-season rampage by belting a mammoth three-run homer to dead centerfield. The ball hit the top of the 25-foot high green wall in dead center approximately 400 feet from home plate. It was Thompson’s 13th homer of the season and his fifth in the playoffs, raisng his average to a blistering .517.  It was the only time he would get to swing to the bat all night as he was walked his other three plate appearances.

Hernandez took full advantage of one of those walks in the fourth inning when he lined a two- run single to left to pad the Heath lead. A final run was tacked on when senior Nick Peterson drilled a single down the left field line. Hernandez would finish the game with 5 RBI and Thompson 3 RBI in addition to Peterson’s run-producing single. Jake Bledsoe and Bret Boswell contributed doubles for the Hawks.

With so many fireworks exploding out of Hawk bats, it would be easy to overlook the two most important components of playoff baseball – pitching and defense. However, on this night no one could look past the dominant efforts of Jake Thompson on the mound.

After allowing a one-out single and base on balls in the top of the first, Thompson methodically mowed down Indian hitters. He would not allow another base-runner until the top of the 6th when he hit a batter with a pitch. He would wind up with only one hit allowed and amass 10 strikeouts before giving way to Caleb Copley in the seventh. It was probably Thompson’s best overall outing of the season, given the circumstances.

To complete his evening, after moving to first base in the seventh he made a spectacular backhanded diving stop to get an out at 1B, which set the stage for a beautiful sliding catch by  Peterson in deep left center to end the game.

After a day off Friday, Heath will head to Waxahachie at Paul Richards Park for game two at 2 pm Saturday. If necessary, game three will take place 30 minutes after game two.

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