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North Collins’ 14U baseball starts fast, downs Eden

In a battle between two 14U baseball teams from the Hamburg Junior Baseball and Softball League, North Collins did not have to do much hitting against Eden to score over 20 runs in a runaway victory.

North Collins scored nine runs in the first inning and took a double-digit lead before Eden could even collect its first run, as the Eagles defeated Eden, 21-12, on July 10 at Eden.

“They were throwing a lot of walks at us,” said Brandon Luther, North Collins’ coach. “We were playing good, but we were getting walked. Our players were doing good at the plate, reading the balls right and not swinging at bad pitches.”

While North Collins walked 12 batters, Eden tallied 22, all of which came in the first two innings. That helped spot the Eagles with 15 runs before Eden finally got on the board.

“We made a lot of mistakes on the bases, but we had enough aggressive base runners which, in the end, made a difference for us,” Luther said.

The Eagles scored nine runs to begin the game. It only took Nick Worowski four batters to get North Collins out of the first frame before being replaced by Mike Gullo in the second after Eden scored six runs of its own to make it a 15-6 ballgame.

Brett Schmitt, Evan Kelly and Jackson Carney all threw for Eden in the first three frames, as the Eagles tacked on five more runs to take an early 20-6 advantage.

“They got it to about eight runs, and that’s when we had to get ourselves back in gear,” Luther said.

Left-hander Nick Hornquist gave Eden some much needed consistency on the mound when he came in the fourth inning and began throwing strikes. He relieved Carney with two outs and a 3-0 count before throwing three straight strikes to get out of the inning.

Tyler Mathis came into the circle for North Collins to match Hornquist’s production with the help of JT Rauker and Tyler Bacon fielding balls behind him.

Hornquist would retire three batters in the fourth inning, but Bacon advanced on a dropped-third strike before scoring on an error to give North Collins its 21st run of the contest.

Hornquist would continue to have a strong day on the mound and not give up any runs to the Eagles for the remainder of the contest. He was helped on the backend by the likes of Connor Blake, who made the play of the day in the fifth inning on a line drive hit up the middle when he ran from his position and made a leaping catch over second base to end the inning.

Eden could not get the bats going until the sixth inning, helped by an Anthony Gombos double that scored two runners. He stole third and home on passed balls.

Mathis did it on both sides of the plate for North Collins. In his first appearance in the circle for the season, he threw four strikeouts and allowed no hits in three innings. He also went 3 for 3 at the plate with a walk.

“He did great, especially for the first time throwing this season,” Luther said. “He was definitely the star of the game for us.”

Eagles catcher Bryan Gernatt also had an impressive outing.

“He threw out some runners who were trying to steal, I think twice,” Luther noted. “We really held back their running game because Bryan was on.”

For Eden, Zach Brosnick turned two double plays in the final two frames. The double play in the fifth was on a throw down to first by catcher Brett Schmidt to get the out. Brosnick then returned the ball back to Schmidt, who tagged the runner coming in from third.

The second came in the sixth inning. A high foul pop fly was caught by Brosnick, who then threw the ball to Blake. Blake then made a heads up play from second to run over and cover the bag for Brosnick who ran down the foul ball.

Benjamin Hornquist’s Eden team fell to 1-6-1 on the season while North Collins improved to 6-3. The Eagles are fighting for second place after a few difficult years.

“They come together and fight for each other and in big moments they come together and make plays and make hits. So we really have a more competitive team than I’ve ever had,” he added. Looking at it from the beginning, I’m kind of surprised we’re doing this good. I didn’t expect as much, but it’s all the kids. They came out and worked harder than anyone other team and they’ve earned where they’re at.”


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