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High School Baseball - Halifax 6, Williams Valley 3
Focused 'Cats win local rivalry

Halifax's Hunter Hillnski was tough on the visiting Williams Valley Vikings. (Sentinel photo by Lon Zeiders

HALIFAX • Halifax Head Coach Tim Pritchard knows if his baseball team (5-2 overall) stays focused, it can compete with anyone.

When the focus isn’t there, the outcome is like the one the Wildcats had April 17 when they committed six errors and lost 8-3 to Juniata.

When the focus is there – like it was April 19 – the ’Cats can win games like they did, 6-3, over Williams Valley (3-6 overall).

“Yeah, there was a different level of intensity, a different level of focus today … just a different attitude then the other day,” Coach Pritchard said.

Senior Hunter Hilinski gave the Wildcats a nice effort on the mound, tossing a complete game to get the win. He allowed three runs on five hits, striking out one batter and walking five.

“He had a little control problem early, but he pitched a heck of a game for us. It’s only his second full start of the season and to be able to go the distance is quite an effort,” Pritchard said, referring to how it helps to save the pitching staff as the team faces some big TVAA games this week.

Offensively, Halifax took advantage of each opportunity it had, pushing its six runs across on five hits with six walks and two hit batters.

Leadoff hitter Dewey Sheaffer did his job well, reaching base all four times he was at bat and getting three of the team’s hits.

“He’s a smart ball player. Great kid to have up there leading off,” Pritchard said.

The defense set the stage for Halifax in the first inning. With a runner on first base, Halifax first baseman Dan Osenbach made a diving stop of a hard hit ball down the line, turning what was a sure extra-base hit into an out.

The ’Cats then turned a double play to end the inning without the ’Vikes scoring a run.

Sheaffer got the ’Cats on the board in the first inning when they scored without a hit. He walked, moved up on a bunt by Joe Raker, advanced to third when he and courtesy runner Brad Shoop pulled off a double steal, then scored on a passed ball. He scored the second run in similar fashion during the third inning. He led off by beating out an infield single, moved to third on consecutive infield ground outs and scored on a wild pitch.

The Vikings battled back and tied the score in the top of the fourth. Ben Rautzahn singled to start the frame and Trevor Welski walked. Stephen Sedesse knocked in the first run with a fielder’s choice and Noah Crisswell tied the game with an RBI single.

The Wildcats reclaimed the lead when Sheaffer knocked in the third run at the bottom of the fourth inning. Halifax loaded the bases with one out after Lowell Divens was hit by a pitch, Sam Cook walked and Jarrett Hoy singled. Sheaffer executed a perfect suicide squeeze bunt to make it 3-0. Raker drew a bases-loaded walk and Trey Pritchard hit a long sacrifice fly to make it 5-2 through four innings.

Raker scored an insurance run in the sixth, reaching on an error, stealing a base and scoring on a wild pitch.

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