(EDITOR NOTE: Eye On Cleveland founder Prof. John Kerezy has chosen to follow the Hiland Hawks baseball team in Spring 2021. This is the second Hiland game he’s watched this season, and he’s planning to take in at least 2-3 more games in the upcoming weeks. Hiland played Triway at the Akron Rubber Ducks’ Canal Park Stadium on April 20. This is the story of that contest. Photo gallery is at end of the post)
AKRON (April 20) — Isaiah Miller saved his best for last.
With Hiland trailing Triway by one run in the bottom of the seventh inning, the senior catcher launched a two-out, two-on double into Canal Park’s right field Tuesday night. Miller’s blast scored Casey Lowe and Reece Schlabach – who had both singled earlier in the inning — to give the Hawks a dramatic 7-6 victory.
It was Miller’s first last at bat, game-winning hit of the season, capping a two hit, five RBI game day for him. His performance put a smile on the face of Coach Chris Dages.
“We need our seniors to provide great leadership, and Isaiah Miller did that for us at Canal Park on Tuesday night,” Dages said. “He used all his tools, hitting, fielding, throwing, and pitch management, to help take us to a terrific team triumph. We had seven different players reaching base against Triway, with everyone contributing. “
Hiland’s catcher was involved in almost every critical point in this see-saw contest.
Miller gunned down Triway’s Billy Mast, trying to steal second, to end the 4th inning after the Titans had rallied for two runs earlier in the frame. Miller, Lowe, and first baseman Dakota Miller also collaborated on a 9-3-2 fly-out, tag-out double play to end the first inning.
Triway threated to begin the game with an offensive barrage. A hit batter, and an error helped plate one run, and at one point in the first the Titans had the bases loaded with no outs. But the Lowe-Miller- Miller double play silenced Triway.
The score remained 1-0 until the bottom of the third inning, when the Hawks offense ignited. Isaiah Yoder began the frame with a walk, followed by a Tony Yoder sacrifice bunt and a single from Jared Hostetler. Isaiah Yoder came home on an error after Hostetler stole second. Lowe then hit a single, and Schlabach reached base on an error, loading the sacks. Miller then cleared them with his first double, also to right, putting Hiland in charge 4-1.
Triway’s best offensive effort came in the fourth inning, when it tallied four singles and scored two runs to pull within one of Hiland at 4-3. But the rally ended with Miller nailing Mast in the steal attempt.
An uncharacteristically weak Hiland defense almost led to its demise. Two of the Titans’ runs were unearned, and porous gloves also led to an unusual fifth for Triway, when it scored three runs. A walk, a hit by pitch, two errors, and a wild pitch/dropped strike three, combined with just one hit — Kade Whitman’s RBI single — gave the Titans a 6-4 lead. It stayed that way until the bottom of the final inning.
Titan pitcher Karin Weaver went the distance for the visitors, striking out seven while walking only one batter. Mast and Griffin Braun also plated RBIs, along with Easton Barnard’s sacrifice fly. Whitman paced Triway with two hits.
Derrick Troyer pitched the first four innings for Hiland, yielding just three hits. Lowe moved from right field to the mound for the final three frames on the mound, allowing only one earned run while striking out five and walking two batters. Lowe also had two hits and an RBI in the game. He picked up the victory thanks to Isaiah Miller’s heroics.
Hiland’s victory, its fifth in a row, raises the Hawks’ record to 11-2. Triway dropped to 8-6 overall with the loss. The Hawks play next against at Claymont on Wednesday.
At Canal Park (home of the Akron Rubber Ducks), April 20
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Triway 1 0 0 2 3 0 0 6 6 4
Hiland 0 0 4 0 0 0 3 7 7 3
2B: Isaiah Miller 2
TB: Isaiah Miller 4, Casey Lowe 2, Reece Schlabach, Jared Hostetler, Nolan Yoder
RBI: Isaiah Miller 5, Casey Lowe
SAC: Tony Yoder
ROE: Reece Schlabach, Jared Hostetler, Tony Yoder
SB: Jared Hostetler 2, Nolan Yoder
Stats from GameChanger See details at www.gc.com