The Nashville Hornets Baseball team won the IHSA Class 2A Pinckneyville Regional this past weekend. Back Row: Assistant Coach Matt Meinert, Head Coach Chad Malawy, Matt Anderson, Cameron Parker, Dale Anderson, Bryce Bultman, Tanner Bergmann, Carson Parker, Gavin Baldwin, Todd Jahnke, Patrick Combs, NCHS Athletic Trainer Tony Frierdich, and Assistant Coach Steve Kozuszek. Front Row: Jacob Woodrome, Terry Pelczynski Jr. Cole Malawy, Kelton Harre, Nick Paszkiewicz, and Nick Miller.
By Brent Huelsmann
Trailing early, the Nashville Hornets scored the final seven runs of the game to defeat the Trico Pioneers for their fourth straight Regional Championship. After two and a half innings the Hornets found themselves down 5-1, but Nashville scored four in the third, and three in the fourth to take an 8-5 win. The Hornets are now 29-6 on the season as they travel to play in the Harrisburg Sectional. The Hornets will play Harrisburg in the Sectional Semi-Finals on May 23 at 6 pm.
Two games, two different fields in the postseason thus far for the Hornets. The Hornets dominated their first postseason game against Sparta, which was played in Pinckneyville, to move on to the Regional Championship. The Regional Championship game against Trico was moved to DuQuoin due to rain.
The Hornets had no problems defeating Sparta for the third time this season as Nashville opened up Regional play with a 14-0 win over the Bulldogs in five innings.
Nashville got off to a fast start in the game as the Hornets put up six runs in the bottom of the first. The Hornets would add seven runs in the third and another run in the fourth to cruise to victory.
Two Hornets kept Sparta off balance on the mound as Terry Pelczynski Jr. started the game and pitched the first three innings of the game. Pelczynski gave up four hits and struck out one batter. Matt Anderson pitched the final two innings. Matt Anderson gave up three hits, walked one, and struck out one.
At the plate, Gavin Baldwin led the way as he finished 2-3 with two runs scored and three RBIs. One of the hits was a home run. Cameron Parker finished the game 2-2 with two runs scored and three RBIs. Carson Parker drove in two runs at the top of the lineup on three hits. Carson Parker scored two runs. Cole Malawy also scored two runs in the win. Cole Malawy also notched two hits and drove in a run. Kelton Harre drove in two runs and scored a run on one hit. Todd Jahnke drove in a run, scored a run, and singled in the game. Jacob Woodrome and Bryce Bultman each drove in a run and scored a run, but did not pick up a hit. Dale Anderson finished with a hit, and Nick Paszkiewicz scored a run for the Hornets.
After rain moved the game to DuQuoin, the Hornets overcame miscues early to pick up a 8-5 win over Trico on May 19.
The Hornets fell behind early, as after three and a half innings, Nashville found themselves down 5-1. Hornets coach Chad Malawy talked about struggling early after the game. “We got off to a rough start, we gave away free bases on strike threes, walks, and not taking outs that were given to us and we really put ourselves in a jam. Woody after a long rest, I don’t think he looked as sharp and didn’t have his quite his velocity, he really wasn’t his best early in the game.”
The Hornets came alive in the bottom of the third, as Tanner Bergmann, Carson Parker, and Woodrome walked to load the bases for Baldwin who would clear the bases with a triple. Bultman would then bring home Baldwin with a sacrifice fly to tie the game at five.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Hornets took the lead for good as Harre and Carson Parker would reach base. With two outs Woodrome would crush a double to score Harre and Carson Parker to give the Hornets a 7-5 lead. A single by Bultman would give the Hornets an 8-5 lead.
The two teams would then trade zeros the rest of the way as the Hornets held on for the 8-5 win to win their fourth consecutive Regional Championship
Coach Malawy talked about how moving the game to DuQuoin changed the game. “I don’t that the turf changed the game, as much as the short porch in right changed the game. They hit a ball thats not out I don’t think, but we have every opportunity to hit it out there as well. We’re just happy to get the game in and especially when you win. The Fighting Hornets are back.”
Malawy would then go on to talk about the team’s season as a whole ‘We’re just happy to move forward. I texted the team last night about the “Fighting Hornets” and everybody thought after losing 11 seniors, us starting a couple freshmen, and only a couple seniors that the Hornets were down. I said about two months ago we may not play our best ball early, but if we are playing our best ball at the end of the year, watch out. 20 wins was a goal. Win a conference title was a goal. Then 25 wins is a goal. Then a Regional Championship. Now we want to get 30, and we want to get a Sectional title. That’s the next two immediate goals on the list.”
Woodrome started the game for Nashville and got the win as he pitched the first 5.2 innings of the game. Woodrome gave up five earned runs, three walks, and struck out six. Bultman came in to get the four out save as Bultman did not allow a runner to reach base and struck out one batter.
Offensively the middle of the order came through for the Hornets. Baldwin led the way with one hit, which was a three-RBI triple. Bultman finished the game 2-3 with two runs driven in and a run scored. Woodrome also drove in two runs on two hits. Cameron Parker finished the game 1-2 with a run driven in. Carson Parker scored two runs at the top of the lineup and notched one hit. Paszkiewicz finished with two hits, while Cole Malawy finished with one hit. Bergmann and Nick Miller each finished with two runs scored.