More often than not, when you give up 10 runs in a baseball game it's bad news, but that wasn't the case for Howard College on Tuesday. The Hawks were smacking the ball around and won 16-10, with sophomore Reed Seeley belting a grand slam to help key the win.
Howard also got a little — OK, a lot — of help from mistakes on the part of the Westerners, who recorded six errors in the high-scoring affair.
“I thought both teams played really bad,” HC Head Coach Britt Smith bluntly said. “Both teams' pitching staffs were awful. I think the difference was they made six errors and we didn't make any. We were fortunate to win.”
Seeley's four-run dinger came in the bottom of the sixth. Holding a one-run lead, Nick Bullington picked up a RBI single making it a 8-6 game. With runners at second and third, Jose Favela reached on an error to load the bases. Dane Steinhagen took a base on balls then Cameron Neal was hit by a pitch to add another run. That set Seeley up to empty the bases with one swing.
The Hawks weren't done. Batting behind Seeley, sophomore Levi Scott cleared the fences to put HC up 16-6.
The bases were still loaded when the inning came to an end, but the Hawks had put nine runs on the board.
The Westerners would tack on two runs in the top of the seventh and two more in the final inning, but couldn't recover from the one-two punch of committing critical errors while the Hawk offense heated up.
Though Howard College (15-9) has struggled this year — relatively speaking — It is still in the running for a Western junior College Athletic Conference title. The Hawks are knotted up with Odessa College and Frank Phillips College — all vying for a third place finish. Midland College and New Mexico Junior College lead the WJCAC with records of 18-6.
Next up for HC will be a four-game series with conference newcomer Luna College. Luna is 7-13 in WJCAC action, but Smith said his squad needs to end the regular season with a bang if they hope to punch a ticket to the Region V tournament.
“We need to take care of business in these last eight games,” Smith added. “We pitched well the last three games of the El Paso series. We need to pitch well and take competitive at-bats. When we do that, the defense is always there. We have to worry about ourselves. Our issue is our uniform, it has nothing to do with with our opponents