Skyline kicked off their week traveling across town to take on rival Pioneer High School for the first two games of their three game series Monday afternoon. When the sun had set, both teams had scratched out wins in a pair of pitching duels to split the twin bill.
Pioneer took game one from the Eagles with 1-0 win, spoiling a pitching gem from junior started Jack Winger. The Pioneers only run came in the first inning, and it was unearned. Both teams put up zeros the rest of the way in a game that lasted just a shade over an hour and 15 minutes.
Winger went the distance for the Eagles, throwing six solid innings, giving up only the one unearned run on four hits, with two K’s and three base on balls.
At the plate, the Eagles mustered six hits, all singles, except for a bloop double off the bat of Sean Haddlesey. Pioneer’s Jackson Hawkins got the win for Pioneer, also going the distance, striking out six and walking none.
In the nightcap, the Eagles normal starter, Darryn Davis, was still nursing a sore shoulder, so they turned to junior Eamon Horwedel to take the ball. Horwedel found himself in another pitching duel, squaring off against Pioneer sophomore southpaw Ben Stidhom.
Both pitchers went seven innings, but seven wasn’t enough. With the score tied at 1-1, Skyline finally managed to bust out for a three run inning after Stidhom left the game due to MHSAA pitch count rules.
With a 4-1 lead going into the home half of the eighth inning, Horwedel, at 90 pitches, also gave way to the Skyline bullpen. Junior pitcher Colton Guntzviller and senior Ian Frison teamed up to nail down the win in a 4-3 nail biter. Horwedel got the win, and Frison earned the save.
For the game Horwedel gave up one unearned run on six hits, struck out four and walked none. Guntzviller gave up the other two runs, both earned, before giving way to Frison, who retired both batters he faced to notch the save. The Eagles defense was shaky in the second game, committing five errors in the contest, luckily, only one of them leading to a run.
At the plate, Skyline had seven hits, but the biggest came off the bat of senior Andrew Fisher, who connected for a two-run single with two outs in the top of the eighth inning to finally give the Eagles the break they needed. Senior Nate Lasinski had two hits, including a very important RBI single, giving Skyline the insurance run they would need after Fisher’s single. Lasinski also made a game-saving catch earlier in the contest when Pioneer’s Noah Kotre hit a sinking liner into shallow left field with two outs and two men in scoring position. Lasinski, however, was perfectly positioned, and made a running catch to end the inning.
Other Eagles collecting hits for Skyline were Horwedel, Jack Winger, Darryn Davis (who also knocked in a run) and Matt Bacon.
The Eagles play the rubber game of the series, Wednesday at home at 4:30.