Wolverine bats back Hill’s 12-strikeout effort in shutout of Mitchell

Polk County’s baseball program honored its 2020 senior class prior to Tuesday’s key conference clash with Mitchell.

The Wolverines then delivered a performance that felt much like 2018 and 2019.

Polk won the Western Highlands Conference title in both of those seasons, and this year’s Wolverines kept their hopes alive for a third straight crown with a 10-0, six-inning victory at The Bottoms.

The Wolverines (6-5, 5-2) also took a huge step toward securing the WHC’s 1A automatic playoff berth. Polk County travels Friday for a rematch at Mitchell (2-8, 2-5) and can clinch the conference’s top 1A seed with a win there.

The Wolverines also remain just behind Madison (5-3, 5-1) in the overall WHC race.

Polk County win its back-to-back titles with relentless offense backed by quality pitching. The Wolverines had plenty of both in Tuesday’s win.

Junior left-hander Micah Hill delivered another gem on the mound, allowing four hits, striking out 12 and walking no one in an efficient 75-pitch outing. After allowing two singles in the third inning, Hill found a groove, striking out seven of the final eight hitters.

Bryson Edwards celebrates his run-scoring single in the first inning. Edwards had three hits in Tuesday’s win

Polk County scored all the runs Hill would need in the first inning. Alex Tipton walked and stole second, with Bryson Edwards battling back from an 0-2 count to drill a single on a 3-2 pitch that scored Tipton.

Edwards took second on the play, moved to third on a passed ball and scored on Coble Cameron’s infield grounder to give Polk an early 2-0 lead.

The Wolverines added a run in the second on base hits by Lawson Carter and Tipton, then scored two runs in the fourth on RBI singles by Carter and Edwards.

With Hill cruising, the Wolverines pushed across four runs in the bottom of the sixth to end the game by run rule. Edwards had a run-scoring single, with Angus Weaver’s double and Cameron being hit by a pitch loading the bases with one out.

Jackson Beiler and Hill drew walks to force in two runs before a wild pitch allowed Cameron to score with the final run.

Edwards finished 3-for-4 with four RBI to lead Polk’s 11-hit attack. Carter was 2-for-2 with an RBI while Tipton was 2-for-3 with an RBI and scored twice.

Weaver, Cameron, Beiler and Evan Jones each added a base hit.