Hawks top Falcons for fourth straight win

Skyline's Dillion Sisk stirs up the dust as he successfully steals second base during fifth inning action against Central Monday night in Woodstock. Rich Cooley/Daily
Central's Gus Wightman slides into home plate as Skyline pitcher Joe Pingley tries to tag him out on a pitch that got past catcher Gavin Kandrick. Rich Cooley/Daily
Skyline's Marcus Burke slides safely into third base on a steal as Central's Gus Wightman puts on a late tag during their game Monday night in Woodstock. Rich Cooley/Daily
Skyline's Dillion Sisk attempts a bunt during second inning action Monday night in Woodstock. Rich Cooley/Daily
Central's Gus Wightman falls to the ground after missing this foul ball during fifth inning action against Skyline on Monday night in Woodstock. Rich Cooley/Daily
Skyline's Joe Pingley fires a pitch during their game Monday night against Central in Woodstock. Rich Cooley/Daily
Central's Hank Hoover throws a pitch during their game Monday night against Skyline in Woodstock. Rich Cooley/Daily

WOODSTOCK – Skyline entered Monday’s game with Central on a win streak, while Central was in a slump. The two trends continued on Monday.

The Hawks scored five runs in the fifth and pulled away for an 8-3 non-district baseball victory over the Falcons. It was Skyline’s fourth win a row.

“It was a good win,” Skyline coach Jay Barnes said. “We had a couple bounces go our way in the fifth and got things rolling for us.”

The game was scoreless through four innings. Both teams had opportunities to score, but couldn’t get the big hit to take the lead.

That changed in the top of the fifth inning. Marcus Burke reached on an error, and Trenton Little followed with an RBI double down the left-field line to take a 1-0 lead.

Gavin Kandrick followed with an infield single off Central starting pitcher Hank Hoover. Little scored on a delayed double steal for a 2-0 lead.

Aaron Tasker drew a walk from Hoover, and Matthew Hartzell followed with an RBI single.

“It’s one of the things that’s really helping us is we got a lot of different guys contributing right now,” Barnes said. “We’re not just counting on a select few, and I think that’s really been part of our success the last four games.”

Hoover was relieved by Jonathan Baker, who then gave up a groundout RBI to Joe Pingley for a 4-0 lead. A wild pitch later in the inning made it 5-0.

“I thought Hank (Hoover) pitched well,” Central coach Donn Foltz said. “He got a little tired. He kept us in the game and gave us the opportunity. We just didn’t come up with the sticks.”

For four innings, Skyline starting pitcher Pingley allowed only one hit and striking out six. However, he said the long inning in the top of the fifth hurt him a little bit.

Pingley was still very happy with his outing. He went five innings, giving up just two hits and striking out seven.

“I felt good coming into the game,” Pingley said. “I had my stuff working. The first few innings I really came out and threw strikes.”

The Falcons (3-7) were able to score two runs on Pingley in the fifth. Brent Richman had a single, and the Falcons took advantage of two walks, and two wild pitches.

Skyline (5-4) came right back in the sixth with three more runs, taking advantage of three Central errors.

The Falcons were led at the plate by Richman with two hits. Foltz said the team just needs to keep working hard and things will turn around for them.

“We just have to get our confidence back,” Foltz said. “We had it early in the year, and lost it a little bit. We just have to play through it.”

The Hawks were led at the plate by Little and Burke with a double each.

Barnes said the biggest reason for Skyline’s four-game winning streak has been an attitude change.

“We’ve changed a few things, and just trying to have a little more fun – be a little more relaxed,” Barnes said. “We were pressing a little too hard in the beginning of the season, putting too much undue pressure on ourselves.”

Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com

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