TORONTO, ON: The Humber Hawks men's baseball team started slow in both ends of the doubleheader on the road against Seneca, but eventually rolled to two big wins and now a share of first place.
Humber Hawks 7 vs Seneca Sting 1
Stephen Narhabeki was on the bump for Humber, making his first start of the season.
It was the Hawks that broke through first, combining a pair of infield bleeders with an eventual wild pitch to produce their run in the third. They did have runners in scoring position, but the middle of the order was unable to do damage.
In the fourth, Humber pushed another run across without the aid of a hit ball, as a balk moved Andrew Thomson from third to cross the plate. As in the third, the Hawks were unable to get a key hit with runners in scoring position.
Humber opened it up in the top of the fifth, led by Liam Sutherland's booming triple to lead off the inning. He was brought in immediately by Justin Marra's ground out. After a second out was recorded, the Hawks struck for three consecutive hits, the last by Thomson to produce Humber's fourth run.
Seneca threatened in the fifth, putting two runners on, but a weak infield fly ball closed out the inning. NarhabekI, clean through five, took a seat as Cam Hibbs came in to pitch in the bottom of the sixth.
The Sting once again showed life, rapping out back-to-back singles off of Hibbs, before a walk loaded the bases with no one out. After a couple of weak infield ground ball force outs at home, it looked as if Humber and Hibbs would get out of the inning unscathed, but a two-out single produced a sting run.
The seventh for the Hawks was textbook, as they scored three times by way of three consecutive hits and then back-to-back sacrifice flies to bolster the lead to 7-1.
Although giving up a two-out double in the seventh, Hawks closer Matt Stoddart strikes out a Sting batter to end the game, and improve the Hawks record to 5-2.
Stephen Narhabeki (1-0) recorded the win.
Humber Hawks 13 vs Seneca Sting 1 (6 innings)
David Sigmund, in his first outing of the year, started the game for the Hawks.
The second game mirrored the first one of the evening, as neither team were able to get on the scoreboard after two innings.
A pop up near the pitcher's mound turned into an adventure, and then ultimately the error led to the opening run for the home town Sting.
Good teams respond, and the Hawks did just that, scoring two runs in the top of the fourth by way of a ground out and a single. The run-scoring single, off the bat of Dennis Dei Baning, resulted in him getting thrown out trying to stretch the hopper up the middle into a double.
The fifth started out all wrong for the Sting. They were unable to make a play on a ground ball to second, and then a swinging bunt put Hawks at first and second with none out. Seemingly had the Hawk runner picked off at second, the throw went into the outfield, scoring the Hawks third run. One out later, a double by Jared Gonsalves scored another Humber run.
After a stolen base by Gonsalves, Liam Sutherland stayed hot and drove a ball to right for a single and RBI. The Sting changed pitchers and a bout with wildness helped secure the Hawks an 8-1 lead heading into the bottom of the fifth.
The sixth featured Humber's second grand slam of the season, this one by Dennis Dei Baning. After an array of Sting pitchers struggled throw strikes, it was Dei Baning that teed off on one in the zone.
When the dust settled on the six-inning mercy, it was Sigmund securing his first victory as a Hawk, surrendering one run, four hits and striking out six. Aidan Murphy pitched a scoreless sixth.
The Hawks will "finally" make an appearance on the home diamond at Connorvale Park after a two-week, eight game road trip to open the 2018 season. They will host the defending champion St. Clair Saints on Saturday, and then entertain the Fanshawe Falcons on Sunday afternoon. Game times on both days will be 1:00 pm and 3:30 pm.
If you are unable to make it out to the park, you may catch all of the games on the Hawks Sports Network – HSN.