ROHS Varsity Hawks stun Lakeridge with walk off

By Steve Patterson / Moving Pictures

The Hawks varsity baseball team hosted the Lakeridge Eagles on Tuesday March 21. In a very tough district, the Hawks need to win their home games for a shot at the playoffs.

In an early pitching duel, the Hawks scored first in the bottom of the 4th inning pushing 2 across the plate. A fielding error by the Eagles kept the inning alive and the Hawks took advantage.

Seemingly in control with Senior Pitcher Erik Gipson on the mound the Hawks pitching and defense kept the Eagles in check until the top of the 7th inning. Leading 2-0, the Hawks made two crucial fielding mistakes in the outfield allowing the Eagles to tie the game.

However, this season, the Hawks dugout has a different vibe and energy, plus with 17 seniors, there is no quit. It’s rare to get a chance to make amends for a mistake, let alone in the same game and especially in the same inning, but the Hawks got their chance.

In the bottom of the 7th, leadoff hitter Brandon Gibson took ball 4 and was on 1st base. Danny Garza came in as the pinch runner for Gibson. Tyler Heaney followed Gibson at the plate and everyone, including the Eagles knew he was going to bunt. Heaney did bunt, and laid it down between the pitcher and first base and nearly beat the throw at 1st base. He did his job and moved Garza to 2nd base. The Hawks next batter struck out. The Hawks were down to their last out. Up next was Alec Loera. Loera had a great AB fouling off multiple pitches to stay alive and with 2 strikes he eventually took ball 4 putting runners on 1st and 2nd with two outs. A wild pitch to the Hawks’ next batter Lance Milke, put runners on 2nd and 3rd with two outs. Milke, looking to make amends to an earlier fielding error, took the count 2-2 before ripping a shot just past the Eagles SS, driving in Garza for the game winning run in walk off fashion. Hawks Pitcher Erik Gipson went the entire game for the 3-2 win.

The Hawks then traveled to Mansfield Summit HS on Friday, March 24 and picked up a huge 5-2 road win over the Jaguars. The Hawks’ Chase Jennings got the win and Austin Tuley picked up the save. With Midlothian beating Waxahachie, there is now a very tight race for the number 1 and 2 spots in the district with Red Oak, Legacy and Lakeridge all 3-1 at press time.