Tigers rally to stay perfect in CLC play

CEDAR GROVE – The Howards Grove Tigers rallied from a 3-0 deficit to earn an 8-3 Central Lakeshore Conference baseball win over Cedar Grove-Belgium here Wednesday evening.

HGHS upped its CLC record to 5-0 (6-1 overall).

Caleb Holzman’s RBI single in the top of the sixth gave the Tigers a 4-3 lead. HGHS trailed 3-0 after four innings.

HGHS added four insurance runs in the seventh to build an 8-3 lead. Bryce Hoffmann’s two-run double ignited the outburst.

The Tigers banged out 11 hits, led by Hoffmann, Brad Olson, Zac Stauss and Holzman with two each. Hoffmann had a team-high two RBIs.

HGHS stole a whopping eight bases, led by Olson’s two.

The Rockets’ attack was keyed by Brett Simmelink and Matthew Dirkse with two hits apiece.

Hoffmann, a senior, was the winning pitcher with a strong relief performance. He pitched 3-1/3 innings and allowed zero runs on two hits with two walks and five strikeouts.

“Hoffmann pitched well to get the win and Holzman collected two big hits. Also the 6-4-3 double play in the fifth with the bases loaded was the key defensive play,” said Tiger head coach Mark Weber.

“I thought the difference was our rally in the fifth where we got production from the bottom of our order, scoring two runs.”

The Tigers pulled to within 3-2 after five. Stauss and Holzman had a single each in the fifth from the Nos. 7 and 8 spots in the batting order.

The losing hurler was Tyler Falk who gave up six runs (three earned) on five hits with one walk and two strikeouts in one inning.

The Rockets committed seven errors.

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