Story Matters

Story Matters

THE Official HHS Football Site

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Lopsided Bluebird Victory

Highlands Records 10th Straight Win over NewCath

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, Highlands senior Tyler Gulley blasts a home run Saturday against Newport Central Catholic. The Bluebirds recorded a 19-0 win for their 10th straight against the Thoroughbreds.
The rain stayed light enough to get this important 36th District baseball rivalry game in.

While the players and coaches may not talk about it heavily, the Highlands Bluebirds took down the Newport Central Catholic Thoroughbreds for the 10th straight time. This game quickly turned into the most lopsided of them all as the Bluebirds (16-8 overall) took care of the Thoroughbreds, 19-0 in five innings Saturday morning at Morscher Field.

"We got down here and everything was fine then it started raining a little bit and I thought, 'Oh, no. We need to get this thing in," said Jeremy Baioni, Highlands Head Coach. "Both of us wanted to get it in as early as we could. Luckily, it didn't rain that hard and we were able to get the whole thing in."

Highlands snapped a two-game losing streak with the win and moved to 3-0 in district play with its fifth run-rule win of the year. The Bluebirds lost 7-1 against Milford (Ohio) on Friday at Highland Park.

The Bluebirds eclipsed their previous season-high of 17 runs in a five-inning blanking of St. Henry two weeks ago. Highlands has scored double-digit runs eight times this year.

Highlands had not scored that many run in a game since a 25-3 win at Covington Holmes on April 20, 2016. The Thoroughbreds (13-8) last beat the Bluebirds, 3-1 in the 9th Region championship on May 31, 2012.

It started on defense with senior pitcher Drew Rom and error-free defense. Rom retired the first nine Thoroughbred batters he faced striking out nine on his way to the complete game win. NewCath managed a lead-off single from senior Kyle Losey in the fourth and a one-out walk to senior Gunner Smith as the only base runners. Rom left them at third and second respectively when he struck out junior Hunter Cain to end the inning.

"That's a good team. (NewCath) actually swing really well," Baioni said. "Drew threw really well (Saturday). They've got a little bit of pop in their line-up. We played good defense and scoring 19 runs, we swung it well one through nine."

On the other side, Highlands smashed 18 hits and took advantage of four Thoroughbred errors and five walks off the four NewCath pitchers. Senior Jack Kohls took the loss for the Thoroughbreds.

"Everyone on the team has a role," said Bryce Ziegler, Highlands junior. "It's just nice to see everyone come out and be ready. We've been struggling lately. It's nice to get out and get a nice W."

Highlands saw four players record more than one hit. Senior Tyler Gulley hit a two-run home run going 2-for-3 adding a double to go with five runs batted in and three runs scored. Senior Joe Steiden went 3-for-3 with a double, two stolen bases, four runs scored and three RBI.

Sophomore lead-off hitter Ethan Kavanagh went 2-for-3 with a double, stolen base, three runs scored and an RBI for Highlands and senior Grant Summers went 2-for-3 with an RBI. Junior Kyle Winkler and senior Sam Hennigan both scored two runs. Winkler doubled and Hennigan stole a base. Senior Carson Fitters and junior Cooper Schwalbach added doubles for the Bluebirds.

"We did really well (Saturday)," said Ryan Adkins, Highlands senior. "Later in the game, they put some other kids in and they capitalized on that. It's good stuff."

Kavanagh walked to lead off the game and stole second. Steiden doubled Kavanagh home before scoring on Gulley's home run to right center. Highlands proceeded to score five, one, six and four runs in the next four innings to pull away.

Highlands travels to Cincinnati (Ohio) Moeller on Monday. Game time is 5 p.m.

Highlands Games Cancelled:

The Bluebirds (10-7) had two games scheduled at Lexington Lafayette in the Lafayette Triangle. They were to play Lafayette and East Jessamine. But both were cancelled because of rain.

Highlands takes on Ludlow on Tuesday. Game time is 5 p.m.

Two Singles, Two Doubles Teams Qualify for State:

The 10th Region Tennis Tournament started over the weekend at Montgomery County and Richmond. The Highlands girls entered the semifinals and finals tied with Mason County with nine points and the Highlands boys trail Campbell County by one point at 9-8 for the lead.

Senior Brooke Hodory defeated Bourbon County, 6-2, 6-3 and Nicholas County, 6-0, 6-0 to make it to the semifinals against Mason County's Tessa Gray. The girls doubles team of junior Elizabeth Schwalbach and freshman Rachel Hoffman defeated Bourbon County, 6-0, 6-0 and Mason County, 6-0, 6-1 to advance to the region semifinals against Harrison County's Melody Dunaway and Sara Dunaway.

In singles play, senior Ashtyn Heiert defeated Bellevue, 6-3, 6-0 before losing to Montgomery County, 7-5, 6-3. The Highlands doubles team of eighth graders Olivia Hoffmann and Helen Halbauer beat Bourbon County, 6-4, 6-1 and George Rogers Clark, 6-1, 6-1 before losing 6-1, 7-5 to Mason County's Haley White and Mallory Conrad.

On the boys side in singles, freshman Peter Laskey defeated Mason County, 6-0, 6-0 and Augusta, 6-0, 6-0 to advance to the semifinals against Campbell County's Anderson McDowell. Sophomore Jackson Hopper defeated Montgomery County, 6-2, 6-0 and Harrison County, 6-4, 6-3 before losing to Bellevue's Brad Reed, 6-2, 6-1 in the region quarterfinals.

The Highlands doubles team of freshman Matthew Erickson and seventh grader John Laskey beat Mason County, 6-0, 6-0 and George Rogers Clark, 6-1, 6-2 to advance to the semifinals against Harrison County's Luke Bradford and Lucas Sullivan. The duo of freshman Joss Finseth and Jacob Schuh lost to Newport Central Catholic, 6-4, 6-3 in the first round.

"I told all six of Monday's players that going into (the) semis as the lower seeds in all four matches should allow them to stay loose and play their best," said Kris Laskey, Highlands Head Coach. "Our current team standings and number of win points are a reflection of how the four Highlands entries on both the girls and boys teams have contributed at this tournament and throughout the season. I am super proud of them no matter what the results end up being at (the) final rounds."

The semifinals start at 4 p.m. Monday at Easy Walker Park in Mount Sterling.

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