Tucson, AZ- It was a pitcher’s duel in Wednesday night’s tournament game against Ralston Valley, CO but the DirtyBird Nation was just far too much for Ralston Valley to handle. In a playoff atmosphere tournament game the Nation was led by senior pitcher Stephan Meyer (3-1) who was dialed in from the start, when he blew fastball after fastball past the first three hitters for RV, striking out the side. In the first four innings Meyer had nine strike outs and only had giving up two hits. Meyer ended up with the seven inning complete game, only giving up five hits, one earned run and striking out a single game IRHS record with fifteen strike outs. Meyer earned his third victory of the season, making him 3-1 overall for the season.
The Nighthawks again for their third straight game were flawless on defense having no errors. There were two web gem type plays made by the Nighthawks, in the fifth inning RV lead-off hitter hit a hard ground ball up the middle but second basemen Travis Chavez lays out, gets up and makes the tough throw for the first out. And in the top of the seventh inning again the lead-off hitter hits a soft pop fly to shallow right field but Brandon Smith running full speed, fully extends and makes the diving catch for the first out of the inning.
Ralston Valley, CO had their 6’10 ace on the mound against the Nighthawks, but the hitters were not intimidated. In the first inning the Kurt Bailey got a base hit and was driven in by a Jake Matthews line drive RBI triple which was hit all the way to the left field fence. In the fourth inning, Trey Stine led off with a hit by pitch, and Devon Harrison executed a sac bunt moving Stine over to second base. Then sophomore starting left fielder Ryan Windish drives a hard line drive over the center fielder for an RBI triple. With Windish on third, leadoff hitter Travis Chavez hits a RBI single to out the Nighthawk up 3-1. In the bottom of the sixth the Nighthawks added an insurance run Stephan Meyer got on base with a hit by pitch, and was batted in by a Brandon Smith sac fly.
Windish was 3-3 with a run, an RBI and a triple. Bailey and Chavez were 2-4, with Chavez having a RBI. Matthews was 1-2 with an RB triple and a walk. Ethan Oglesby and Jake Dunn who were the pinch runners for the catcher and pitcher both scored runs
The Nighthawks will play game three of the tournament tonight, Thursday March 29th against Dos Pueblos, CA. Dos Pueblos is 1-1 in the tournament and 10-3 overall. They lost 8-6 to Ralston Valley in the opener and beat Cholla 22-4 in game two. The game will be at Reid Park, at 7:30 p.m. Kyle Petty (1-1-2) will be the probable starter.