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Heath Hawks win District 10-4A, playoff matchup a familiar one

By Aaron Williams. HEATH – The Heath Hawks begin their quest for the elusive state Final Four this year with a return engagement from last year’s first round against the Frisco Raccoons.

Frisco is the fourth place team from District 9-4A, having secured their berth in the playoffs with a dramatic come from behind victory over Frisco Liberty on Friday night by a 12-11 score. Frisco overcame a 9-3 fifth inning deficit.

Heath enters the contest as the number one seed from District 10-4A, following their 11-3 campaign to finish off their third consecutive District 10-4A championship. The Raccoons went 8-6 during their district season.

Frisco is led on the mound by Andrew Miller, Johnny Sitgreaves, and Jordan Gibbs. Miller went 4-3 with a 2.27 ERA in 52.33 innings pitched. He struck out out 71 and walked 38. The number two pitcher is Sitgreaves who amassed a 5-3 record with 53 strikeouts in his and 25 walks in his 36.67 innings of work while Gibbs went 3-1 with 22 strikeouts and nine walks. There is not a real dominant pitcher on the staff but all three saw plenty of work and should provide the Hawks with a real challenge.

At the plate, the Raccoons were not a power -hitting team by any means as they hit only five homers as a team. By contrast, Heath’s Jake Thompson clubbed six home runs by himself.  Frisco has a series of feisty base hitters throughout their lineup led by Zach Jenkins, Jordan Gibbs, Matt Goudie, and P.J. Harris. Gibbs led them with two home runs and Harris was the RBI leader with 22 while all four players had averages over .300 for the year. Senior Andrew Miller is also a tough out at the plate.

Heath comes into the series on the heels of a season ending 14-0 thumping of Wylie East that clinched undisputed possession of first place. The second half of District play saw the Hawk offense start to jell as they scored 68 runs in those seven games, plus a 21 run outburst in a non-district game against Richardson.

Jake Thompson, Jovan Hernandez, Timbo Duncan, and Bret Boswell tore the cover off of the ball with averages ranging from .417 to .376. Duncan has 32 RBI to lead the team while Thompson has six homers to lead the squad. All four have had big games offensively while Jake Bledsoe has also chipped in with three homers and 22 RBI. The Heath bats will be a tough task for any pitching staff.

The Hawk pitching staff is loaded and talented. Expect Coach Greg Harvey to choose between seniors Jovan Hernandez, Jake Baxter, and freshman Tyler Ivey to complete a rotation centered around ace Jake Thompson.  The trio has compiled a 13-5 season record with ERAs ranging from 2.22 to 2.83 and all three have seen district action.

Thompson has been one of the best pitchers in the area this season as he enters the series with a perfect 9-0 record and a miniscule 0.339 ERA in 62 innings of work. He has allowed only three earned runs all year and has a staggering 117 strikeouts against only 13 bases on balls. Against Wylie East he passed the 400 strikeout plateau for his career. Hawk fans feel very confident when big number 15 toes the rubber.

The action gets underway Thursday, May 3, at 7:30 pm at the Hawk’s Nest. Game two is slated for 7:30 pm Friday at Frisco. If necessary, a third game will be played Saturday at a time/location to be announced.

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