11 April 2014

Baseball: Hinks hurls Tigers by Raiders

JD Hinks pitched a six-hit complete game in the season opener (photo by Jim Lindquist)

Senior righthander JD Hinks scattered six hits, struck out eight and did not allow an earned run as the Tigers opened their 2014 season with a solid 7-1 non-conference win over Hastings Thursday afternoon at Tiger Field.

"He really settled in after the first inning and pitched a gem of a game," coach Jon Graff said of the win in his first game as head coach. "He was just cruising. You could see him become more and more confident as the game went along. It was fun to watch."

With Hinks having his way with the Raider batting order and the defense committing but one error, the Farmington offense came out of the gate swinging, collecting 12 hits.

The Raiders jumped to an early 1-0 lead with an unearned score in their first at bat, but the Tigers answered with a three-run second on a walk to Jordan DeCroock and singles by Ryan Giebel, Parker Holmstrom, and Hinks. 

The winners added another score in the third and then plated two in the fourth on doubles by Johnny Dittman and Austin Martinsen and a single by Bobby Eckert. A single by Landon Neilsen, a double by Hinks and a run-scoring single by Dittman produced the final run in the fifth. 

Parker Holmstrom 1-3, 2 RBI (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Balance was the key to the Tiger offense. Nine different players had at least one base hit with Holmstrom, Hicks and Dittman leading the way with two apiece. Seven different Tigers scored and six had a RBI. Holmstrom knocked in a pair of runs.

"The guys didn't play like it was their first game of the year and had only gotten outside a couple times," Graff said. "They were so into the game, doing the little things like backing each other up, hitting cuts and executing the hit and run successfully.  

"However, for all the good stuff, we've still got to get ready to get back at it, as we play seven games in the next seven school days."

The brutal game-a-day schedule starts today (Friday) with a Missota Conference home match-up with Holy Angels. The game was originally scheduled for Donaldson Park in Richfield but had to be moved to Tiger Field because that venue was not ready for play.