JEWELL - One lackluster inning cost the South Hamilton baseball team the chance to pull off a Heart of Iowa Conference upset last night at the Mike Penning Athletic Complex.
Fourth-ranked (Class 2A) Roland-Story took advantage of two errors to score three runs in the fifth inning and the Norsemen went on to turn back the Hawks, 3-1.
South Hamilton (5-9, 2-4 HOIC) led 1-0 entering the fifth.
"We gave them six outs in that one inning and they definitely took advantage," South Hamilton head coach Bret Bell said. "But I thought we played phenomenal. This is a good confidence booster for us because we played well enough to win except for two or three pitches."
The Hawks were unable to get to Roland-Story (12-3) ace pitcher Zach Hovick. He tossed a two-hit gem that included 10 strikeouts.
"You have to give Hovick a lot of credit because he's a very good pitcher," Bell said. "But we battled him and fought well and adjusted to some things that he was doing."
ROLAND-STORY 3, SOUTH HAMILTON 1
Wednesday at Jewell
Roland-Story000 030 0-3 7 0
South Hamilton001 000 0-1 2 3
Zach Hovick and Riley Ellis. Lane Heinlein and Lucas Olson. W-Hovick. L-Heinlein. RBI-SH: JD Rader.
Lane Heinlein took the loss on the bump. He scattered seven hits and struck out four. Two of Roland-Story's were earned.
JD Rader drove in the Hawks' lone run with a third-inning single that plated Nathan McSparin, who jumped aboard after being plunked by a Hovick offering.
Justin Shepherd added a sixth-inning single for South Hamilton.
It will get even tougher for the Hawks today when they travel to Alleman to take on second-ranked (2A) and defending state runner-up North Polk.