Hawks cruise past Roland-Story for Evans’ 150th win

Sean Cordy - Sports
W-G head coach Eric Evans receives a signed poster from the team after his 150th win with the program July 9. PHOTO BY SEAN CORDY/THE PERRY CHIEF

Once Pacey Moats ran through, Woodward-Granger’s sealed one of its finest hours of recent memory. Not only did the Hawks (21-7) run away with a 10-0 win over Roland-Story (14-17) in five innings but also gave coach Eric Evans his 150th win with the program.

“This is all them,” Evans said after the game with a signed commemorative poster from the team in hand. “I can call things, but they execute. They’re awesome.”

Perhaps the team hasn’t been more awesome than Tuesday night. After the game, Evans told the team he thinks it’s the most energetic they’ve been all season. He said considering it came almost a week since the last game before the Fourth of July and the level of competition made it all the more impressive.

“That’s a good team. That’s a great coach. They’re really good usually,” Evans said. “I mean, I can’t take anything away from us. We’re starting to put balls in play, have competitive at-bats, not popping up in the infield.”

While the game had its stars like a three-RBI performance from Pacey Moats and another two from Bryce Achenbach, it was a well-rounded effort from top to bottom that drove the game forward at such a rapid pace.

Things got to a moderately slow start at 0-0 through the first inning and faced with two outs in the second, the Norsemen threatened to blank the Hawks. But after Trevor Simmons ran in off a wild pitch, the momentum picked up in W-G’s favor en route to a four-run inning.

Evans said with the postseason right around the corner, this game will serve as a great example of what momentum feels like for his young roster. There have been a number of games the Hawks have won this year due to one inning going their way but they’d write a new chapter Tuesday.

Followed by two runs in the third and another in the fourth, W-G kept chugging along as Brandon Worley kept the Norse bats at bay for a shutout, striking out six batters with 16 of 19 batters seeing a first-pitch strike. All that led to Grell at the plate with Moats and Achenbach in scoring position up 8-0. A liner to right field would send them in to put the game away with the final two runs of the night. The team’s aggressive base running that set up the final two runs paid off in the end.

“I wasn’t trying to be timid. I was trying to step on it and match [our players’] energy,” Evans said. “I told them, ‘If you guys bring energy, we’re way better.’ So that was a fun game.”

The score wasn’t the only thing the Hawks won. After a five-day break following the holiday, Evans brought out a trick the JV team has used the past few seasons, playing bingo with game moments to ross out. So when Roland’s pitchers hit batters not once but twice, the dugout got even more excited to get on base.

Evans said he accredits part of the team’s enthusiasm to the bonus game and as a superstition, plans to keep using it if it helps show results. He also told activities director Matt Eichhorn to “wear the same clothes and stand right there” after seeing how well Tuesday night went with all the pieces in place.

The Hawks will close out the regular season hosting powerhouse West Marshall (23-4) and won’t go on the road unless they advance to the substate final.