Rams shove a run across in 7th to clip Hawks

Balvanz, Zeke Balderas RBIs in loss

South Hamilton senior Mateo Balderas (27) gets caught in a rundown between third and home against Greene County on Friday in Jewell. Balderas was tagged out sliding into the plate. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

JEWELL — There wasn’t one thing that Kyle Galetich could point to as the reason that his South Hamilton baseball team came out on the short end of the stick Friday night at the Mike Penning Athletic Complex.

The truth is, the Hawks played well; well enough to win. But Greene County did too, and in the end it was the Rams who walked away smiling.

Courtesy of a hot grounder off the bat of Nick Breon in the seventh inning, Greene County was able to plate the go-ahead run in its 3-2 victory.

“They had a couple key situations and they put the ball in play,” Galetich, the Hawks’ head coach, said. “We had a couple key situations and didn’t put the ball in play, and it comes down to a few little things.

“Overall, we played a good game. It’s 3-2, one of those where someone is going to be disappointed.”

Cade Balvanz rips a RBI ground ball during the fourth inning of South Hamilton’s 3-2 loss to Greene County on Friday in Jewell. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

Greene County (12-8, 5-5 HOIC) scored single runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings. The Rams overcame a one-run deficit on two occasions and then got to reliever Cole Berg for three of their nine hits in the seventh.

Greene County loaded the bases in the seventh with just one out, which forced South Hamilton (7-12, 3-9 HOIC) to play in at the corners. Breon turned on a pitch and hit a hard grounder between third and short. Hawks’ third baseman Garrett Grady made a diving stab at the ball, but was unable to get enough mustard on a throw from his knees to get Carter Morton at the plate.

Zeke Balderas tossed the initial six innings for the Hawks and allowed just six hits and one earned run. The right-handed junior struck out five.

Galetich opted to turn to Berg in the seventh and says he’d do it again.

“It was a hot day and they weren’t an easy six innings for Zeke,” he said. “He pitched well, I’ve got no qualms about that, but I think he was at his limit. And over the last two years, there hasn’t been anyone better than Cole Berg in tight situations. I wouldn’t ever hesitate going to him. But (Greene County) got a couple through … I don’t think they hit the ball hard off him once.”

DFJ photo/Troy Banning

The Hawks touched two Ram pitchers for just four hits — a double by DJ Klonglan and singles by Zeke Balderas, Mateo Balderas and Quinton Grove.

South Hamilton took a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning on a RBI ground ball off the bat of Cade Balvanz that plated courtesy runner Marco Balderas.

After the Rams evened it in the top of the fifth, the Hawks jumped back in front on a RBI base knock by Zeke Balderas. It brought Klonglan, who had doubled two batters earlier, around to score.

South Hamilton will be at home this evening to take on Belmond-Klemme at 7:30 p.m.

Greene Cty. 3, S. Hamilton 2

DFJ photo/Troy Banning

Friday at Jewell

Gr. Cty 000 011 1 — 3 9 1

S. Ham 000 110 0 — 2 4 1

Wade Adcock, Brent Riley (6) and Tom Gannon. Zeke Balderas, Cole Berg (7) and CJ Hewitt. W — Riley. L — Berg. 2B — SH: DJ Klonglan. Multiple hits — GC: Nick Breon, Bryce Hoyle, Carter Morton. RBI — GC: Breon, Gannon, Ben Wilkens; SH: Cade Balvanz, Z. Balderas.