The chill that permeated Polk County’s baseball field Thursday night seemed to also wrap itself around the Wolverines’ bats.
Polk County could never find enough offense to match that of East Henderson, who pulled away late for a 14-2 non-conference victory in the Wolverines’ home and regular-season opener.
East Henderson (2-0) broke open a fairly close contest with four runs in the sixth, all coming after a two-out Polk error, and five runs in the seventh aided by two more Wolverine errors. Miscues also played a role in helping the Eagles build a 5-1 lead after three innings. Polk County committed nine errors on the evening.
“It was definitely a disappointing first night,” said Polk County head coach Billy Alm, making his debut leading the Wolverine program. “Maybe it was first-game jitters. East has played two scrimmages and a game, so they’ve gotten to see live pitching more than we have.
“We have to continue to work.”
East scored once in the top of the first, but the Wolverines answered in the bottom of the inning as Holden Owens, who had singled earlier in the frame, scored with two outs on a dropped third strike and subsequent throwing error.
The Eagles added a run in the second, then pushed across three more runs in the top of the third, taking a 5-1 edge that lasted until the sixth inning.
Polk County added its final run in the bottom of the seventh on a bases-loaded walk to Tyler Harris.
Jordan Hrabar allowed four hits and struck out eight to earn the win for East Henderson. Hrabar finished one out short of a complete game as he had to leave the game at that point due to the new pitch count rules for high school baseball, which state, among other guidelines, that a pitcher can throw a maximum of 105 pitches in a single game.
Owens had three hits to lead Polk County, which returns to action on Saturday with a road game at West Henderson. Evan Rimer and Nick Capozzi had Polk County’s only other hits.
East Henderson also earned a 4-2 win in junior varsity play.