|Highlands Baseball, Softball Teams Victorious|
|PHOTO: G. Michael Graham, Fort Thomas Matters. The Highlands Bluebirds baseball team defeated Bishop Brossart, 20-4 in four innings.|
But after two innings, Highlands led just 8-4 before pulling away to beat the host Bishop Brossart Mustangs (12-10), 20-4 in four innings.
"Bishop Brossart kept fighting. (The Mustangs) put together some good at-bats," said Jeremy Baioni, Highlands Head Coach. "We left a couple balls up. We had a big inning in the third and really settled down on the mound. We made some really good defensive plays later in the game. They put pressure on us early on."
Highlands senior Nolan Turner (3-0) picked up the win throwing the four innings for the complete game. Turner struck out three and walked two. The Mustangs batted 5-for-17 against him for a .294 batting clip.
The Bluebirds batted an impressive 19-for-30 for a .633 average in the win. Junior Ethan Kavanagh went 3-for-5 with three doubles, two runs batted in and four runs scored. Senior Cooper Schwalbach went 3-for-4 with a double, three RBI and two runs scored. Senior Bryce Ziegler went 2-for-3 with a triple, home run, four RBI and a run scored.
Seniors Grady Cramer and Trey Gabbard also homered for Highlands. Gabbard went 2-for-3 with three RBI and two runs scored and Cramer had two RBI and scored twice.
Juniors Mason Schwalbach and Nate Gesenhues added two hits each. Mason Schwalbach scored twice.
"We just try to stay locked in and focused throughout the game," Gesenhues said. "The coaches do a pretty good job of keeping us paying attention to the game. A lot of the seniors do a great job of making sure people stay consistently talking in the dugout. The leadership is great."
Highlands takes on Cincinnati (Ohio) Moeller (14-3) at University of Cincinnati Medical Center Stadium in Florence. Game time is 5 p.m.
Highlands 11, St. Henry 4:
The winning streak hit five in a row in Erlanger for the Bluebirds (6-4 overall) with the road win over the Lady Crusaders (9-11).
Eighth grader Kennedy Baioni (4-3) threw a complete game striking out nine and walking two. Baioni's earned run average is 3.45. St. Henry batted just .130 (3-for-23).
Highlands went 8-for-31 at the plate for a .258 batting average. Eighth grader Carley Cramer led the way going 3-for-4 with a double, three runs batted in and a run scored. Freshman Anna Greenwell went 2-for-5 with two RBI, a triple and two runs scored. Sophomore Brianna Tharps went 1-for-2 with a triple, two RBI and two runs scored. Sophomore Caroline Class also had two RBI.
The Highlands coaching staff continued to shuffle players in and out of the starting line-up trying to build depth. Tharps started at catcher after junior Brittney Johnson started there Tuesday against Loveland (Ohio). Johnson did pinch hit against St. Henry and scored a run.
"I think we've been coming together more as a team and we've been working really hard at practice," Johnson said. "Our focus has been there more than it was before. We're all a team and we all know how to work together. We all know when our time is going to come on the field and we're all going to be supportive no matter who's on the field."
The Bluebirds also took advantage of 11 walks. Tharps, Class and Baioni walked two times each.