HEBRON | Friday’s game between Morgan Township and Hebron experienced an unusual delay, but the end result was a familiar one for the Hawks.
The game was delayed for 15 minutes in the top of the sixth when the base umpire was hit in the head on a throw. Once play resumed, the Hawks took the lead and then gave it up before coming back and getting a 5-4 walk-off victory over the Cherokees in a Porter County Conference baseball game.
The victory was the third-straight home win in walk-off fashion for Hebron (7-4, 4-1).
“We battle people,” Hebron coach John Steinhilber said. “Nobody panics. They have good at bats.”
Bryce Hanaway brought home the winning run with an RBI single. The seventh inning started with Mike Mikulich reaching on an error. A sacrifice bunt moved him to second and a wild pitch put him on third. The next two hitters were intentionally walked, setting the stage for Hanaway.
“When they walked everybody to get to Bryce, I knew something good was going to happen because he’s been a three-year starter,” Steinhilber said.
The Cherokees (7-8, 1-3) appeared to take a 3-2 lead in the sixth when a throw on a potential inning-ending double play went into the dugout. The runner was sent back to third, putting runners at the corners with two outs.
Jacob Hernandez took off from first, and Hebron pitcher Zac Hernandez’s throw to second hit the base umpire in the head. Jake Koselke came in to score, and then the game was delayed while the umpire received medical attention. He returned to the game for the seventh.
“You never know how either team is going to respond to something like that,” Steinhilber said of the delay. “It’s a good testament to our kids. They’re not going to quit.”
Hernandez tied the game for the Hawks with a groundout in the bottom of the sixth, and Donovan Friel followed with a single to give Hebron a 4-3 lead.
The Cherokees tied the game with a run in the seventh on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Brett Lemmons.
Jarrett Majcher had two hits for the Hawks, and Jason Reick drove in two with a double in the fourth.
Jacob Hernandez had two hits for the Cherokees.
“These guys are a pretty good team, and we competed pretty well,” Morgan Township coach Jason Dorshorst said.