Hornets Cap Off Regular Season

The Nashville Hornets baseball squad was loaded with seniors this season, as eleven players were honored on Senior Day. From Left to Right: Cole Pedtke, who is the son of Tim and Leslie Pedtke, Trevor Meier, who is the son of Cory and Sheby Meier, Cade Krueger, who is the son of Randy and Cheryll Krueger, Brogan Kemp, who is the son of Mike and Melissa Kemp, Andrew Kash, who is the son of Tara and Jarret Biggerstaff, Tyler Jahnke, who is the son of Chris and Tammy Jahnke, Hayden Heggemeier, who is the son of Greg and Alicia Heggemeier, Jake Heck, who is the son of Charlie and Kami Heck, Ryan Brink, who is the son of Mike and Melanie Brink, Cody Bauza, who is the son of Clint and Stefanie Bauza, and Austin Anderson, who is the son of Darrell and Dawn Anderson.
By Brent Huelsmann
The Nashville Hornets finished up the regular season this past week, with five games over a four day stretch. The Hornets defeated Murphysboro, West Frankfort, Wesclin, and Greenville, before dropping their final game of the regular season to Flora on Saturday in the second game of their doubleheader.
The Hornets began the week with a thrilling 6-5 win over Murphysboro on Senior Day on May 10. Nashville started nine seniors for the first time this season, as the 11 seniors on the team were honored before the game. The Hornets took an early 4-0 lead but had to rally late after Murphysboro came back to take the lead.
After two scoreless innings to begin the game, the Hornets broke through with the first run of the game in the third. The Hornets would add three more runs in the fourth, one of which came off the bat of Ryan Brink. Brink crushed a solo home run in the frame.
Murphysboro would score two in the fifth, and three in the sixth to take a 5-4 lead over Nashville. The lead would not last long as Brogan Kemp stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the sixth and crushed a homerun to left field to tie the game.
In the seventh, Hayden Heggemeier would score the winning run, as Brink laced a walk-off single for the Hornets.
Brink talked about his approach in the final at-bat after the win. “I was just trying to be aggressive. I thought the first one was a little low so I didn’t swing, I wanted my pitch. After the first one I thought he was coming back with a curveball. I saw him throw it in warmups. I picked it up early, and hit it back up the middle.”
After the game coach Chad Malawy talked about the game. “All 11 seniors got in the game, we started nine seniors. One of the few times we’ve done this. Brogan was good, he got his pitch count up because he was behind in the count. Again he was effective enough, to keep us in the game. Offensively we hit the ball early, we just couldn’t get the big hit. We stranded people. We started the game with a leadoff double, and stranded him, but after that I thought we did a good job of driving in some runs.”
Kemp got the start on the mound, and pitched five strong innings. Kemp gave up just two runs on two hits, struck out six batters and walked three. Heggemeier pitched an inning for Nashville, and gave up three runs, on just one hit, and walked three batters. Woodrome pitched the seventh to get the win. Woodrome gave up one hit and struck out one batter.
At the plate, Brink led the way. Brink finished with a team-high two hits to go along with two RBIs and a run scored. Kemp reached base three times in the win. Kemp homered in the sixth inning, to go along with two walks, and two runs scored. Cade Krueger finished the game 1-2 with two RBIs and a run scored. Heggemeier finished with a hit and a run scored in the win. Andrew Kash finished the game 1-2, while Trevor Meier scored a run in the win.
The Hornets finished up their home schedule on May 11, with a 4-1 win over the West Frankfort Redbirds.
The Hornets took the lead early as they broke through with a run in the second to take a 1-0 lead. Nashville would add two more in the fourth and another in the sixth, before West Frankfort scored their only run of the game in the seventh.
Nashville got a great effort on the mound from Brink, who shut down West Frankfort throughout the contest. Brink pitched a complete game for the Hornets, and gave up just one run on three hits. Brink walked one batter, hit a batter, and struck out eight to pick up the win.
At the plate, the Hornets finished with seven hits, two of which came from Carson Parker. Carson Parker went 2-3 with three runs scored and a RBI. Heggemeier drove in a run for the Hornets as he finished the game 1-4. Kash finished with a RBI in the for Nashville. Brink, Meier, and Kemp each had a hit, while Cameron Parker finished with a hit and a run scored.
After finishing up their home slate, the Hornets defeated Wesclin 11-7 in a high scoring affair on May 12. Each team had six-run innings in the game, but the Hornets were able to come out on top. Both teams committed five errors in the contest.
Nashville scored early and often in the game as the Hornets scored two in the first, six in the second and one in the third to take an early 9-0 lead. Wesclin would come back with six runs of their own in the fourth, but that would be as close as they got. Nashville would add two insurance runs in the top of the seventh, and the Warriors rally would come up short as the Hornets took the 11-7 victory.
Woodrome pitched the first six innings for Nashville as he gave up six runs, only two of which were earned, eight hits, walked three, and struck out four batters. Heggemeier pitched the final inning in relief, and gave up one run on no hits, walked four and struck out two.
Offensively, the Hornets busted out 14 hits in the win over Wesclin. Five Nashville players finished with two hits, led by Meier, who finished 2-5 with three RBIs and a run scored. Cameron Parker and Kash each had two RBIs to go along with their two hits. Brink finished 2-4 with a RBI and two runs scored, while Brogan Kemp finished 2-4. Cody Bauza drove in two runs in the win as he finished the game 1-3 with a run scored, two RBIs, and a walk. Heggemeier crossed the plate twice to go along with his one hit. Jake Heck went 1-3 with a RBI and a walk in the win. Carson Parker had a hit, a run scored, and a walk, while Dale Anderson scored one run for Nashville.
Nashville finished out the regular season with a doubleheader at the 9th Anual “Ish” Smith Baseball Classic in Greenville.
The Hornets first game of the tournament was a 4-2 win over the Comets of Greenville. Seven innings wasn’t enough for these two teams, as Nashville finally prevailed in nine innings.
Greenville got on the board first, as they scored a run in the second inning of play. The score would stay steady through the fifth inning, but in the sixth, Nashville finally broke through. Bauza scored the first run of the ball game for the Hornets to tie the game, and Carson Parker gave the Hornets the lead with a RBI single that scored Kemp.
The lead would be short lived, as Greenville was able to tie the game in the bottom half of the inning. The score would stay tied at two until the top of the ninth when Brink doubled home Heggemeier to give Nashville the lead for good. Brink would later come around to score to give Nashville a 4-2 lead. In the bottom half of the inning, the Hornets would secure the 4-2 win.
On the mound, Austin Anderson pitched the first eight innings for the Hornets. Austin Anderson gave up two runs, on four hits, and struck out six batters for the win. Todd Jahnke would pitch the final inning for Nashville and get the save.
At the plate, the Hornets finished with seven hits, two of which came off the bat of Carson Parker. Carson Parker finished 2-4 with a RBI. Brink had one hit, a run scored, a walk, and a RBI in the win, while Meier, Kemp, Kash, and Cameron Parker each singled in the game. Heggemeier and Bauza each scored a run for Nashville.
After the game, Malawy talked about the pitching of Austin Anderson. “Austin did a great job, he was under 90 going through eight innings, so great effort on the mound by Austin Anderson the senior. Our team just kept making plays and hanging in there and eventually they mishandled a ball and we got right back in it. We had some good at bats and we had some clutch hits just to win that game. Very proud of the Hornet effort.”
The Hornets finished out the regular season with a matchup against Flora. In a game that was much closer the the final score would indicate, Flora came out on top 6-2.
The Hornets led the majority of the contest, as Nashville scored two runs in the third, as Bryce Bultman scored the first run, and a sacrifice fly by Bauza extended the Hornets lead to 2-0.
Flora would score a run in the fifth, and tie the game in the sixth. The Wolves would score four in the seventh as they took advantage of errors by the Hornets to go on to a 6-2 win.
Kash pitched five strong innings. Kash gave up just one run, on three hits in the game. Kash walked four and struck out six batters. Jahnke pitched the final two innings. Jahnke gave up five runs, two of which were earned, on two hits. Jahnke struck out three and walked three.
Malawy talked about the game afterwards. “Andrew Kash has only thrown like eight innings coming into this game, and he was really outstanding for us. I think he only gave up one hit through five innings of work and left with the lead in tact. Hats off to Andrew Kash, very proud of his effort. Jahnke came in and was fine, we just got to play catch, gotta be able to handle the ball. Usually the team that plays the best catch wins, and that’s exactly what happened today.”