HOPE — In his final appearance playing a sport on the Hauser High School grounds, senior Rory Thayer found a good way to say goodbye Saturday.
Thayer allowed just one run in six innings as he pitched the Jets to a 2-1 victory against Connersville in the first game of a doubleheader.
For those in attendance, seeing Thayer do something special was no big deal. He has played soccer, basketball and baseball for the program all four years of high school.
“It’s tough,” Thayer said. “I’ve been coming to this field for 10 years either playing or watching my older brothers (Reid, a 2012 Hauser grad and Ryan, a 2009 graduate). It feels like not that long ago I was a freshman.
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“I loved every minute of it.”
Hauser couldn’t silence the Connersville bats in the second game as the Spartans, 21-6, claimed an 8-1 triumph. But both teams looked primed to head into the sectional tournament.
“That was a good team we played,” Hauser coach Jerry Schoen said. “They’ve been ranked in the top 10 all year.
“But I think we are ready to go (in the playoffs). We’re playing some fundamentally sound baseball.”
Schoen is sad to see his seniors, Thayer, Dalton McKinney, Brooks Bailey and Isaiah Martin, leave the program as they graduate.
“Rory, Dalton and Isaiah, I’ve taught them when it comes to baseball since the third grade,” Schoen said. “They’ve grown up in this program and they have become great leaders.”
Eric McMullen slapped a two-run single in the sixth inning in the first game to help those seniors earn a split in their final regular season games.
The Jets, who are 17-8, couldn’t solve Connersville pitchers Jordan Clark and Dalton Huffman in the second game as they managed seven hits, but no extra base hits.
Hauser picked up its only run of the second game in the second inning when Dalton McKinney singled home McMullen, who had singled and stolen second.
Connersville took the lead in the fourth inning with two runs on a looping single to right center by Nathan Clark. Joe Rowe slammed a homer over the left field fence to up the Spartans’ lead to 4-1 in the fifth and the visitors put it away with four runs in the seventh.
Hauser opens Shawe Memorial Sectional action Saturday at 7 p.m. against Rising Sun.