Jets top Cougars, forge tie for MHC lead

HOPE — Hauser found itse;f trailing by two runs heading into the bottom of the second inning of Thursday’s key Mid-Hoosier Conference baseball game with visiting South Decatur.

The Jets didn’t panic.

Koby Johnson smacked a solo home run to start the second that sparked off 12 unanswered runs the rest of the game to send Hauser to a 12-2 victory in five innings.

The bats became hot for the Jets, who were finding the gaps to accumulate several rallies over the final four innings. They out hit the Cougars 11-3 for the game.

“We work a lot on approaches at the plate. We do that a lot and break it down with the guys,” Hauser coach Nathan Long said. “They’re really starting to see it. They’re really starting to buy in, and you could see that tonight. It worked out for us.”

South Decatur (16-3, 8-1) scored its first run in the first inning off a Jets error and scored the second run in the top of the second with a Devin Pate RBI-single to lead 2-0.

Following Johnson’s solo home run, Caleb Walker was hit by a pitch and then stole second base. Owen McIntyre then delivered an RBI-single and advanced to second on the throw to give Hauser (12-8, 8-1) a 2-2 tie. Collin Buck then slapped a single in the gap between first and second to plate the go-ahead run for a 3-2 lead.

The Jets added two more runs in the bottom of the third with RBI-singles from Johnson and Sam Miller to extend the lead to 5-2. Hauser then produced four hits for seven runs in the bottom of the fifth to seal the win.

Johnson earned the win, going the distance and allowing two runs on three hits with 10 strikeouts. At plate, he was 2 for 2 with a home run. Collin Buck went 3 for 3, Sam Miller was 2 for 3 with a double and McIntyre was 2 for 3.

The teams square off again today at South Decatur. Both teams still control their own destiny to win the conference title.

“We’ve got to play (today) with the same intensity as we did tonight,” Long said. “We‘ve got to finish our last three conference games this year with that intensity and that level of effort and approaches. If we can play defense, and we can pitch and we can hit, we seem to be clicking when we can do that. Our focus is tonight, first and we’ll go from there.”