ROANOKE - With the postseason right around the corner plus being a regional host, Roanoke-Benson/Lowpoint-Washburn is looking for a boost heading into the second season.
That began May 6 with a 5-3 win over Tri-County Conference rival Henry at Bill Zeman Field.
Holding a 2-1 lead, RBLW (12-15, 7-7) sought some add on runs, which arrived in the bottom of the fourth. The hosts plated three, which included a run-scoring single from Jake Weber, who came home on a double to the left center field gap by Jarrett Bline.
The hosts finished with seven hits with at least one to left, center and right off Henry (9-16, 3-11) soft-tossing righty Jon Downey.
“They did that. We did that on (May 4),” commented Hunter of spraying the ball around BZF versus Ridgeview. “When they do, that’s good. We try to stay back on somebody like that.”
The Mallards got one in the fifth and another in the seventh to close within 5-3. Henry’s first hitters reached, as Hunter lifted Jacob Nix for Ben Monge. The guests had two on in the top of the seventh with the potential go-ahead runner at the plate, but Monge struck out Reece Oliveri looking on a three-ball, two-strike curve. Monge picked up the save for J. Nix (1-2), who scattered nine hits and allowed three runs (two earned) over six. The junior did not issue a walk and struck out three.
J. Nix helped his own cause with two hits off Downey, who struggled with his control. He walked four and of his 87 pitches only 46 were for strikes.
“It’s tough. The strike zone kind of changed a bit,” pointed out Hunter.
Henry finished with nine hits, but only one went for extra bases.
According to Hunter, RBLW is a formidable squad when they eliminate the one bad frame that has plagued them for most of the past two seasons.
“We seem to always give up one bad inning,” he said, “We’ve shown we can execute in situations. If we can stay away from it, we can play with anybody.”