Hawks go 3-1 in four game series with NMMI to improve to 6-2 in conference play

By: 
JORDAN PARR
Sports Editor

The Hawks looked great at the plate in their series with NMMI. Howard College got double digit hits in three of their four games versus the Broncos and scored double digit runs in two of those games as well. With their bats doing work, the Hawks were able to win three games in the four game series and improve their conference record to 6-2 on the year.
In the first game of the series, Howard College out hit NMMI 15 to 10 and put up 10 runs on the Broncos while managing to hold them to just 1 run in the win. Nick Jodway led the way for the Hawks, driving in 5 runs on 2 hits. Jodway got the action started early with a 3 run homer in the first inning to give Howard College a nice 3 run cushion right off the bat.
The Broncos got some hits but couldn't turn them into runs throughout the game and didn't get a run on the board until the bottom of the sixth inning. The Hawks played great defense behind their pitching and kept the base runners in check while committing no errors in the win. Jordan Mikel got the win on the mound for Howard College. Mikel pitched six innings allowed just 1 run on 9 hits and struck out seven. John Carlos Ariza also pitched one inning in relief for the Hawks to help seal the victory.
With 15 hits in the game there were five Hawks with multiple hits. Lance Russell, Ben McClain, Nick Jodway, Raul Ortega and Tracey Bucey each had more than one hit in the game with Russell leading the way going 4 for 4 at the plate with 1 RBI. With their sticks getting the job done at the plate and their gloves getting the job done in the field, the Hawks cruised to a convincing 10-1 victory in game one of the series.
In the second game of the series things were a lot closer. Howard College barely edged out the Broncos 9-8 on the scoreboard and only out hit them 11-9 in the narrow win. Both teams protected the plate well and hit the ball with power the entire game.
The Hawks jumped out to a 7-3 lead at the end of the third inning after both teams scored three runs each in the second. In the top of the third Howard College scored four runs on an RBI single by Brandon Pimentel, a sacrifice fly by Nick Jodway and a two run dinger by Frank Cascio. The Broncos tried to mount a rally but came up just short as the early damage done by the Hawks was just too much for NMMI to overcome.
Nicco Cole got the win on the rubber for Howard College. Cole pitched six innings, allowed six runs on seven hits and struck out five in the win. Noah Miller and Jeffrey Zack each pitched in relief for the Hawks with Milller holding off the Broncos late charge to earn the save. Pimentel and Wilson Galvan each had multiple hits in the game with Pimentel leading the way for the Hawks with three hits in four plate appearances. Howard College fought hard and did just enough to hold on for the close 9-8 win to go up 2-0 over NMMI in the series.
In the third game of the series, NMMI got a little taste of revenge for the first two games of the series and beat the Hawks 14-4 while out hitting the Hawks 12-4 in the lopsided game. The Broncos jumped out to an early lead and forced Howard College to try to play catch up before blowing the game wide open in the bottom of the fourth with a huge 8 run explosion to put the game out of reach.
The Hawks didn't only struggle to keep the Broncos from scoring runs in the game, but also had real issues trying to score runs themselves in the game. With just four hits on the day, Howard College really struggled at the plate against NMMI's Jose Cabanillas who pitched really well against the Hawks. Cabanillas pitched five innings, allowed four runs on four hits and struck out three as he got the win. Ricky Apodaca did fair as well in the game as he took the loss on the mound for Howard College. Apodaca pitched three innings, allowed nine runs on eight hits and struck out four in the loss.
Brandon Pimentel and Trace Bucey both went yard in the fourth fin the lone bright spot for the Hawks while Raul Ortega and Wilson Galvan got the other two hits for Howard College in the game. Five players had multiple hits for the Broncos as they took game three from the Hawks in convincing fashion.
In the final game of the series, it looked like the Hawks wanted some redemption for their disappointing performance in game three. Howard College got started right away and scored three of their 11 runs in the first inning. The Hawks out hit the Broncos 10-4 in the game and really played well at the plate and on the diamond to get the double-digit 11-1 victory.
Frank Cascio got things started off with a bang for Howard College in the top of the first. Cascio hit a three run shot deep over the wall to give the Hawks an early 3-0 lead that they would not relinquish in the game. Seth Ochoa, Allante Hall, and Cascio all had multiple hits in the game for Howard College with Ochoa leading the way with a three-for-four day at the plate.
Taylor Pendley got the victory on the hill for the Hawks. Pendley lasted five innings, allowed just one run on three hits and struck out seven. Tyler Hardwick took the loss for NMMI. Hardwick pitched five innings, allowed nine runs on seven hits and struck out five in the loss.
With the win the Hawks improved to 6-2 in conference play and took a 3-1 advantage in the four game series with the Broncos. Howard College will play Western Texas College in a double-header this Friday at Jack Barber field looking to continue to improve the conference record and move up in the standings.

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