WHITING | With one swing of the bat, Hebron’s history-making season laid on the shoulders and arms of Kyle Hernandez.
Earlier in the day, the Hawks had already paved the way to make history, winning their first Regional game in recent memory with a 10-0 blanking of Bishop Noll.
Hernandez wanted to etch a place in the record books for the Hawks, and he did just that, connecting on a game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the seventh inning to plate Jarrett Majcher and defeat Fort Wayne Bishop Luers 3-2 for the Class 2A Whiting Regional championship -- the first in Hebron school history.
“I was just thinking ‘You’ve got to get a hit here. This is your time to do it,’” Hernandez said. “I’m not going to have a second chance in high school, so you got to do it now. I wasn’t going to let it slide by.”
Hernandez also got Hebron on the board in the first inning with a sacrifice fly that plated Damon Wallace.
Hebron was up 2-1 in the top of the fifth inning, but Bishop Luers managed to tie the game when Jake Schultheis came around to score.
All game long, both teams struggled to put runs on the board as every pitcher was able to get out of possible jams, The Hawks (20-8) had a good chance to score a run in the fifth inning when Cody Hayes connected on a one-out double, but they were unable to bring him around.
So the fight the Hawks displayed in getting the win meant a lot to coach John Steinhilber.
“A lot of these guys don’t know how to fail,” he said. “I’m blessed to be around them. The guys battled.”
For Hernandez, being a part of Hebron’s most successful baseball team ever to take the field is an unexplainable feeling.
“It’s big,” he said. “It’s crazy to be a part of this, and hopefully we keep going. I think we have the ball club to do it this year.”
The Hawks will advance to either the South Bend Clay or Kokomo Semistate to face Northfield on June 9.