Hawks find new way to win against E-B-F

Sean Cordy - Sports
Brandon Worley throws a strike during the seventh inning against E-B-F on July 3. PHOTO BY SEAN CORDY/THE PERRY CHIEF

Woodward-Granger (20-7) keeps finding new ways to win.

A couple of weeks ago, the Hawks won on a double play immediate after pitching change. Earlier this week they broke through a tie with four runs before the rain stopped play. And on Wednesday, July 3, W-G avoided extra innings with a walk-off walk to grab their 20th win of the season, taking down Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont (17-10) with a final score of 2-1.

It wasn’t quite a firework finish to match the explosions in the background around the town, but it continued the Hawks’ trend weaseling out of tight situations.

Also staying true to the Hawks’ season story, they jumped out to an early lead, getting leadoff Reese Jamison on the board after he doubled.

From there, it was all about preserving the lead. Alex Bice made the start and went 4 1/3 innings, surrendering just one hit and a walk with five strikeouts. Despite the strong showing, head coach Eric Evans swapped in Brandon Worley to close out the game, changing up the speed of the game for the Chargers’ sticks. He wouldn’t give up a hit until the top of the seventh which then snowballed into a bases-loaded situation that threatened the Hawks lead after their offense stalled for five innings.

Evans discussed the strategy he told Worley on the mound to let only one runner through but ultimately he said, “I just trust him.”

That faith paid off. After that one runner went through for the tying run, the defense quickly closed shop, ready to get the offense to retake the lead.

Taking some notes from E-B-F, the Hawks quickly lined the bases with runners just in time for Pacey Moats to look at four balls pass, sending in Bryce Achenbach for the winning run.

While Moats didn’t make a flashy play to send in the winning run, Evans said it was still an impressive at-bat and was impressed by his patience to watch the pitches and “just to stay in the moment and not do anything.”

“I feel like there’s a big level of trust among this team,” Evans said looking back at the team’s overall patience.

The win marks the 10th game for the Hawks decided by one run, bringing their record to 6-4 in such games after having lost the last three to Des Moines Christian, Martensdale-St Marys, and Van Meter. Evans said, like those teams, EBF is one of the more consistently competitive programs. It’s also his alma mater, making the win even more exciting. To add to the excitement, the Rockets are coached by former Woodward-Granger assistant coach Tom Hallgren.

Only two games remain for the Hawks regular season. They’ll close out the season with games Tuesday and Thursday against Roland-Story (14-15) and West Marshall (21-4) respectively.