Apr. 13—It had none of the drama, nor the tension, of the game played here exactly a week ago.
Truth be told, Hilldale’s 16-0 win over Stilwell had all the edge-of-seat theatrics of all but a few swings of the final round of the Masters on Sunday.
But a win is a win, and 24 hours later Monday, it was indeed a win.
Give Kielton Siedlik his due on the mound.
Siedlik left after four innings of facing the minimum number of Indians at the plate. He retired 10 straight after a leadoff walk. Jon McElroy ended that streak with a single to left with two outs in the fourth, but the Hornets’ right-hander picked him off at first for the final out of the inning.
Hilldale coach Nate Frisby sent Joey Myers out to finish the run-rule game in the fifth. Chase Stephens greeted him with a single to right, then retired the next three, the last on strikes.
C’mon Kielton, he was asked in front of his coach, that didn’t thrill you to not finish what you started right?
“Aw I told him ‘keep me in, keep me in,'” he said.
No, no hard feelings.
“He’s been around 100 the last couple games and I may want to pitch him a little on Thursday against Spiro,” Frisby said, regarding the NSU Tournament contest set for Thursday, after Hilldale (17-6, 7-2 District 4A-6) closes this district series at Stilwell (9-12, 3-6) on Tuesday.
Siedlik threw 52 pitches.
“Well, you don’t win with 50 pitches very often,” he noted.
It was indeed a stroll in the park, unlike the two losses (10-0 and 9-1 to Fort Gibson) last week that knocked Hilldale to the edge of the 4A-6 title picture.
Evan Smith’s groundout, his only out in a 3-for-4 game to lead all Hilldale bats, got Colby Thompson home in the first. Thompson reached on a single to right, then moved to second on a mishandle by Stilwell right fielder Keller Hilcher.
In the second, Austin Fletcher led off with a fly ball that sailed out of Hilcher’s reach in right. Fletcher wound up on third with a triple.
He would get no further. Stephens, a left-hander who drew the mound assignment for Stilwell, struck out Caden Thompson and Rylan Nail before issuing consecutive walks to Brayden Smith and Thompson to load the bases. But Alex Rowland’s fly ball to right was run down by a backtracking Hilcher to avoid any damage in the inning.
The Hornets would get the bases packed again in the third.
Smith singled to center, Siedlik’s routine fly to left bounced out of Wyatt Maxey’s glove at the point of contact, and Caynen David walked, all with no outs.
Up next was Fletcher, who laced a two-run single to center, making it 3-0.
With one out, Nail walked to reload the bases, and Smith walked a run across before Thompson singled to left, adding the fourth run of the inning. Rowland’s bunt single followed, scoring another. Smith’s two-run single to left would end Stephens’ time on the mound, bringing Dalton Christie in with his team down eight.
Siedlik’s two-run single greeted him, and it was 10-0.
Three errors led to six Hornet runs in the fourth before Quinton Burch became the third Stilwell pitcher. Amid the miscues, David’s single to right made it 15-0.
“You know, even last week, a couple of plays and both games snowball on us,” Frisby said. “Fort Gibson’s won 20 games for a reason. We’ve got 17 wins. I’m happy with where we are. We just need to get better every game.”
Siedlik, who gave up four runs in an eight-run, error-filled sixth of the 9-1 loss at Fort Gibson last Tuesday, agreed, noting that’s all in the rearview mirror.
“Our energy is better in the dugout,” he said. “If we’re at the top of our game we’ll have the momentum going forward. And it’s better if other guys see time out there, and some got that tonight.”