KOUTS| Hebron's Cody Hayes had a solid performance on both sides of the ball against Kouts on Wednesday night. Pitching for the Hawks, Hayes allowed only one hit and struck out 16. On offense he had three hits, including a double, drove in two runs and scored once, giving Hebron a 10-0 victory against the Mustangs in the first round of the Porter County Conference tournament.
“My pitches were working, I was throwing strikes, and I had high confidence in the defense,” Hayes said. He walked four batters, and the Mustangs reached second base only once in the game.
“Cody’s turned into our leader; he did a good job at setting the tone,” Hebron coach John Steinhilber said. “He had a solid performance today.”
Hayes had singles in the third and sixth inning, and doubled in the seventh.
“I was just trying to get on base, and getting people to score and stay with the pitch,” Hayes said. “We came off a big game last night, so we wanted to carry everything over to today. We wanted to hit the ball and make plays, and that’s what we did.”
The Hawks (15-7) had a 3-0 lead going into the fifth inning, when with bases loaded and no outs Bryce Hanaway singled to center field, scoring Alex Anderson and Kyle Hernandez. Mike Mikulich reached on an infield single that scored Kyle Joyce, putting the Hawks ahead 5-0.
“At some points this year, we got up and decided not to keep the heat on,” Steinhilber said, "and I thought we did an excellent job at keeping the heat on Kouts today. It’s a lot easier to do that when you have a pitcher who’s out there doing his job.”
Hebron added three more runs in the sixth inning, two of those runs coming off two Kouts errors. Hanaway singled to right field to score Joyce and give Hebron a 9-0 lead. Mikulich scored in the tenth inning on a double from Hayes.
“With him (Hayes) pitching, it’s going to be a close game. You can’t allow any runs. Once they (Hebron) got ahead, they got the momentum, ” Kouts coach Matt Weston said. “We’ll try to take this as a positive and work on our game for next week.”
Max Everaert had the lone hit for the Mustangs (12-11). He gave up five runs, six hits, five walks and one strikeout in five innings. Tim Morgart also gave up five runs and six hits, while striking out two and one walk.
Seven different Hawks had at least one hit. Hanaway had two hits and three RBI’s, and Joyce scored three times and had a triple.