No. 4 Norsemen get to Hawks in fifth, prevail 3-1

JEWELL – One lackluster inning cost the South Hamilton baseball team the chance to pull off a Heart of Iowa Conference upset last night at the Mike Penning Athletic Complex.

Fourth-ranked (Class 2A) Roland-Story took advantage of two errors to score three runs in the fifth inning and the Norsemen went on to turn back the Hawks, 3-1.

South Hamilton (5-9, 2-4 HOIC) led 1-0 entering the fifth.

“We gave them six outs in that one inning and they definitely took advantage,” South Hamilton head coach Bret Bell said. “But I thought we played phenomenal. This is a good confidence booster for us because we played well enough to win except for two or three pitches.”

The Hawks were unable to get to Roland-Story (12-3) ace pitcher Zach Hovick. He tossed a two-hit gem that included 10 strikeouts.

“You have to give Hovick a lot of credit because he’s a very good pitcher,” Bell said. “But we battled him and fought well and adjusted to some things that he was doing.”

Lane Heinlein took the loss on the bump. He scattered seven hits and struck out four. Two of Roland-Story’s were earned.

JD Rader drove in the Hawks’ lone run with a third-inning single that plated Nathan McSparin, who jumped aboard after being plunked by a Hovick offering.

Justin Shepherd added a sixth-inning single for South Hamilton.

It will get even tougher for the Hawks today when they travel to Alleman to take on second-ranked (2A) and defending state runner-up North Polk.