CEDAR LAKE | The main reason why Hobart is on Hanover Central's schedule is to get the program ready for a sectional run.
One thing that Wildcats coach Doug Nelson pointed out in his team's 11-0 loss Saturday afternoon was his team's defense, as it committed four errors.
"They're one of the best hitting teams in the state according to MaxPreps and you can't give a good hitting team extra outs," said Nelson. "We gotta be able to catch the popups, period."
Times No. 4 Hobart (17-3) started off scoring in the top of the first in an odd half-inning.
After center fielder Drey Devereaux singled, Brandon Murray was awarded first base on a catcher's interference call and catcher Nick Bokun singled to load the bases.
After Alex Batistatos grounded to Hanover Central starter Branden Sears, Devereaux was forced out at home, but the throw to first went wide and the Brickies scored two runs.
The errors continued in the second for the No. 6 Wildcats when shortstop Daniel Balich booted a Donny Parlock grounder. After being sacrificed over, Parlock scored on a Tyler Kenjic single.
Hobart batted around in the disastrous second inning for the Wildcats, recording six hits and scoring six runs, only one of which was earned.
"We feel like we have all the ingredients to make a run this year," Hobart coach Bob Glover said. "We have struggled in the past with being consistent, but every day we have to show up offensively and fight for baserunners and hits."
The Brickies chased Sears from the game in the third after a walk and three straight hits, as they scored more three runs.
That was more than enough for Batistatos, who went four innings, allowing five hits while striking out three.
"I try to throw strikes, keep the ball down, and get outs," said Batistatos, who went 2-for-4 with three RBIs. "When I'm pitching that's usually the priority, but when I can get base hits and a couple RBIs, that's good."
The Wildcats (16-5) had some bad luck offensively as well, grounding into two double plays and leaving two runners stranded in the fourth after consecutive base hits from designated hitter Riley Welch and shortstop Dan Balich.
Hanover totaled seven hits and left six runners on base.
"We had opportunities to move guys around," Nelson said, "but our focus has to crank up a notch when you have guys on base."