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Heath Hawks batter Frisco Raccoons, 11-1, take playoff series lead

(By Aaron Williams) HEATH -The Heath Hawks jump-started their quest for a state championship by opening the 2012 playoffs with an 11-1 trouncing of the Frisco Raccoons at the Hawk’s Nest last night.

The series will resume tonight at Frisco at 7:30 pm.

Frisco opened the scoring with a first inning run against Heath starter Jovan Hernandez and the Raccoons had several potential scoring opportunities taken away by clutch pitching by Hernandez and some very sharp Heath defense.

Centerfielder Austin Stewart threw out Frisco runners at both first base and home to stifle Raccoon rallies, Jake Baxter chipped in with a RBI and R.J. Williams garnered two runs batted in. Catcher Jake Bledsoe nailed a runner at second base in an attempted steal. Hernandez took advantage of his defensive support and settled into a rhythm that saw him retire the last ten Frisco hitters in order.

The Heath offense countered the first inning run when Bret Boswell worked a base on balls and stole second base. That set the stage for Jake Thompson who promptly blistered a shot through the hole at shortstop to tie the score 1-1. The Hawks pushed across a run in the bottom of the second and the game had the makings of a pitcher’s duel as the score was still 2-1 heading into the bottom of the fourth.

A leadoff single by Grayson Lewis set the stage for successive bunts by Heath. The first Hawk bunt was misplayed by the Raccoons and Austin Stewart then laid a perfect bunt down the third base line which he turned into a hit. Two straight outs followed as it appeared Frisco would escape the jam. However, getting Jake Thompson out with the bases loaded is a daunting task.

In what would turn out to be the decisive moment of the game, Thompson, following a nine-pitch at bat, blasted a bases-clearing double down the left field line. After Timbo Duncan (shown above) followed with his fifth home run of the year, the score had mushroomed into a 7-1 Heath lead. The Hawks would follow with a single run in the fifth and three more runs in the sixth to end the game via the run rule, 11-1.

For the evening, Grayson Lewis and Jake Thompson combined for six of the nine total Heath hits. Lewis had a double, triple, and one RBI while Thompson chipped in with two doubles and four RBI. Hernandez reached base safely four times with a RBI double and three walks. Jake Baxter chipped in with a RBI and R.J. Williams garnered two runs batted in. The Hawks managed to score in every inning except the third.

Heath will ride the big arm of Jake Thompson in game two while Frisco is expected to counter with senior Andrew Miller. If necessary, game three will be played at noon Saturday at Highland Park.

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