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Monday, May 31, 2021

36th District Semifinal Sunday: Highlands Baseball, Softball Run-Rule Opponents

Bluebirds Record No-Hitters

PHOTO: Cody Skaggs, www.codyskaggs.myportfolio.com. Highlands seventh grader Peyton Brown (3) scores in a recent game.

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It's has been exactly 10 years since the Highlands Bluebirds baseball team (20-16 overall) missed out on the 9th Region Tournament.

Highlands will be making a ninth straight appearance in the 9th Region Tournament after run-ruling the Bellevue Tigers, 10-0 in six innings at Highland Park. The Bluebirds have won nine straight 36th District tournament championships.

Highlands senior John Barth picked up the victory. He struck out 11. Junior Abe Hils pitched the sixth as the two combined for a no-hitter.

The Bluebirds scored twice in the first inning. Senior Braden Becker hit a sacrifice fly to score senior Jake Gulley and junior Mason Welsch.

Highlands did not score again until the fifth inning. Becker singled in Gulley and senior Vance Moore walked with the bases loaded to score senior Owen Carris to put Highlands up 4-0.

"We just started taking care of business and taking advantage of our strengths will (Jake) Gulley using his speed and the rest of us getting more quality at-bats creating base runners and putting runs together," Moore said. "I'm just glad we got it going later - better than never."

The Bluebirds scored five more times in the inning to go up 9-0. Senior Jason Noe had a two-run single and Welsch had a two-run double before scoring on a Gulley single.

Highlands batted .462 (12-for-26) in the game. Noe, Becker, Welsch and junior Foster Schuett had two hits each. Becker drove in three with Noe and Welsch driving in two each. Welsch, Gulley and sophomore pinch runner Brennan Kelsay scored two runs each.

Highlands takes on Newport Central Catholic back at Highland Park at 3 p.m. for the district championship.

Softball:
Highlands 15, Bellevue 9:

Highlands (27-9) also no-hit its district semifinal opponent in three innings.

Sophomore Kennedy Baioni pitched the first two innings walking one and striking out four. Seventh grader Kaitlyn Dixon pitched the third striking out one.

The Bluebirds drew nine walks and hit .692 (9-for-13). Sophomore Bailey Markus drew two walks and scored three times. Seventh grader Payton Brown and sophomore Carly Cramer went 2-for-2 scoring two runs each. Cramer doubled and Brown added two runs batted in. Freshman Michelle Barth went 2-for-2 with a double and RBI.

"I think some of the girls that played play on competitive summer teams," said Milt Horner, Highlands Head Coach. "So they're playing for tournament championships over the summer so I don't think (the atmosphere) is something that's going to get to them too much. Except for a couple of pop-ups early, I think we hit the ball pretty well."

Highlands takes on Dayton back at Newport Veterans Field for the district championship Monday at 3 p.m. The Bluebirds have won two straight district tournament championships.


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