Hewitt belts 2A-best 5th HR, Hawks continue to rake in win over Ballard
9 players with at least 1 hit for SH, 3 currently batting .519 or better
SLATER — At this rate, eventually opponents are simply going to wave the white flag and pitch around Carter Hewitt, and can you blame them?
But that option poses another question: Who exactly in South Hamilton’s lineup do you pitch to?
The Hawks’ explosive bats were once again on display during Tuesday’s 13-10 slugfest victory over Ballard, and Hewitt was the catalyst. The senior and future UNI football player went 3 for 5 with a pair of doubles, his fifth home run of the season, and four RBIs.
And that was just the start.
All nine South Hamilton batters notched at least one hit and six rattled off multiple hits, which begs another question: Is this head coach Kyle Galetich’s best hitting team ever?
“Yeah, probably, since I’ve been the coach,” he said. “With us, we’ve got guys that do a little bit of everything. We’ve got guys that hit the ball hard and for power, but we’ve also got guys that are fast and put a lot of pressure on a defense. It’s just the perfect mix and all of them swing the bat very well.”
The two teams combined for 32 hits — 18 for South Hamilton (7-1) and 14 for Ballard (6-4). The contest featured eight extra base knocks.
Tanner Blue went 3 for 4 with a pair of RBIs out of the No. 9 hole for the Hawks, and lead-off stick Brock Galetich laced three hits in five appearances. Tycin Barkema went 2 for 4 with two RBIs, Freddie Lewis was 2 for 5 with an RBI, and Kyler Hodnefield smacked two hits as well.
Connor Finch had three hits, including a dinger, for Ballard. Jaden Peasley roped three hits, including two doubles.
It was a hitter’s paradise, and a bit of a nightmare for pitchers. And the scoring reflected the hot bats.
Ballard jumped in front 9-8 following a two-run fourth and another run in the fifth, but South Hamilton had the answer in the sixth, and it started with Hewitt. His two-run blast out of the park gave the Hawks a 10-9 advantage and it sparked a five-run frame that put the game out of reach.
Through one-third of the season, Hewitt is hitting .583, sixth-best in Class 2A. His five long balls sits at the top of the class and he’s No. 2 in RBIs with 17. Kyle Galetich says that team’s may start to pitch the lefty differently going forward.
“I think he’s going to see a lot more off-speed stuff,” Galetich said. “But if we’ve got guys on base in front of him with speed, they’re going on breaking balls. We put a lot of pressure on pitchers to throw fastballs and that helps a ton.”
And it’s not like Hewitt is the only Hawk raking at a high rate. Lane Swenson, who had one knock on Tuesday, is currently hitting .565, 10th best in 2A, and Brock Galetich sits at .519. Barkema (.444), Elijah Balderas (.417) and Blue (.391) are putting together career seasons as well.
Balderas earned the win on the hill after taking over for starter Jake Ellis in the fifth inning.
SH 13, Ballard 10
Tuesday at Slater
SH 332 005 0 — 13 18 0
Ballard 420 210 1 — 10 14 3
Jake Ellis, Elijah Balderas (5) and Gatlin Johnson, Ellis (5). Jacob Ross, Connor Moore (6) and Bryce Haessig. W — Balderas. L — Ross. Multiple hits — SH: Brock Galetich (3), Carter Hewitt (3), Tanner Blue (3), Tycin Barkema, Freddie Lewis, Lane Swenson, Kyler Hodnefield; BAL: Connor Finch (3), Jaden Peasley (3), Jayden Cattell (3), Nolan Schonhorst. 2B — SH: Hewitt (2), Elijah Balderas; BAL: Peasley (2), Cattell. HR — SH: Hewitt; BAL: Finch. RBI — SH: Hewitt (4), Barkema (2), Blue (2), Lewis; BAL: Finch (3), Peasley (2), Cattell (2), Schonhorst, Kyler Watson.