By Josh Belanger
Jack Hoeymans hit a two-run home run in the second inning and provided an insurance run in the seventh with his third hit of the game to power the Sliders to a 3-1 win over the first-place Night Owls last night at Waters Field.
Hoeymans (undecided) went up the middle with all three of his hits, featuring a balanced approach that has helped him be one of the Sliders’ most productive hitters to start the season. The McLean native enters the weekend now tied with Ben Williamson (William & Mary) for the team lead in hits, home runs and RBI.
“[Hoeymans] is a kid looking for a place to play and he has had some of the best at-bats I have seen all year, consistently in all five games,” said coach Rob Hahne. “I’d say every time he is up to the plate I feel pretty confident.”
The Night Owls entered the night undefeated in league play and ranking first in several offensive categories including runs, batting average and home runs. Starter Garret Newsome (William & Mary) and relievers Michael Schultz (College of Charleston) and Braden Mack (Cornell) held the Night Owls to just one run on five hits.
Schultz earned the win after coming on in relief of Newsome with two outs in the third and proceeded to allow just one hit over 3.2 innings, inducing seven ground ball outs. Newsome finished the game with five strikeouts over two innings while Mack needed just 22 pitches to record the final four outs.
“They did a good job of mixing it up and keeping those guys off-balanced. They pumped strikes when they needed to and had great command,” Hahne said. “That’s a really good offense and those guys did a really good job coming after them.”
Lucas Donlon (Virginia Tech) delivered a first inning RBI to give the Night Owls an early lead, but would be the only extra-base hit for his team. Donlon has now driven in a run in each of the Night Owls five games, extending his season total to nine.
Danny Checkosky (Roanoke) took the loss after allowing two runs on two hits over three innings. Reliever Jack Braley (Christopher Newport) tossed two scoreless innings in relief with four strikeouts for the Night Owls.
The Sliders (2-3) will take on the Gators in a doubleheader Saturday at Waters Field while the Night Owls (4-1) will face the Rough Riders Saturday in a twin bill at Madison High School.
In other league action…Thomas Latham (Holy Cross) drove in a pair of runs and O’Kelley McWilliams (Wofford) struck out six over 2.2 innings to lead the Rough Riders (4-1) to a 3-2 win over the Yard Dogs (2-3). Kyle Lewis (Marymount) also had a strong outing for the Rough Riders, tossing 2.1 scoreless innings in relief…The Hot Wings (2-3) beat the Chili Dogs (1-4), 4-0, behind a pair of RBI from Trevon Dabney (James Madison) and a two-run home run from Avery Neaves (Chesapeake). Donovan Burke (James Madison) started on the mound and struck out four over three scoreless frames...Eddie Eissert (NC State) went 3-for-4 with a pair of runs and an RBI while Jack Cone (William & Mary) reached base all three times from the lead-off spot to pace the Bunt Cakes (3-2) to an 8-0 win over the Gators (2-3). Nathan Cmeyla (Dartmouth) also drove in a pair of runs for the Bunt Cakes. Eissert and Jay Cassady (Christopher Newport) combined for six scoreless innings on the mound, allowing just three hits.
Photo of Jack Hoeymans by Josh Belanger