Casey Hayes and his Homer Central baseball teammates like their home field.
After picking up a win Monday against Phoenix at Preble Park, the Trojans went to 2-0 on the home field Thursday as Hayes tossed a five-inning no-hitter in the Trojans’ 10-0 OHSL Liberty Division victory over Hannibal. Homer improves to 2-1 in Liberty American Division play and 2-2 overall. The Warriors fall to 0-2 in Liberty National action and 0-3 overall.
“I have to give a lot of props to J.P (Lyman) back there catching,” Hayes said. “I threw a lot of curveballs in the dirt and he blocked every one of them. It was a good day.”
Two of Hayes’ nine strikeouts were on pitches in the dirt that Lyman needed to scoop up and throw to first base for the out. He was on target with both throws and received a game ball from the coaches for his efforts.
“It was an impressive feat right there,” Homer coach Robert Nasiatka said of Hayes’ performance. “I know we have the pitching and the hitting is starting to come around. We did make a couple of errors in the field that will hurt us in closer games, but will work on that.
“Coach Whelan has been working with J.P. for a long time. He did block everything today. His focus was tremendous today. That’s what we have to have. We have a lot of options at positions. We have five catchers who can help us out and J.P. made a statement today.”
Jason Haselkorn had a perfect day at the plate for Homer, going 3-for-3 with a sacrifice fly and four RBIs. Bryant Quinlan added a 3-for-4 day with two runs scored and an RBI. That accounted for six of the Trojans’ nine hits off two Hannibal pitchers. Homer was also aided by four walks, three hit batters and six Warrior errors. Three of the errors came in the bottom of the fifth inning as Homer scored three times to reach the 10-run differential for the win.
“Jason Haselkorn is swinging the bat real well,” Nasiatka said. “I have some guys who are .400 and .500 hitters who are not swinging the bat well right now. When they come around, things are really going to be special.”
Hannibal had five batters reach base in the game. An error in the top of the first and another error in the third allowed the first two Warriors to reach base. Hayes would walk the bases full in the fourth inning, but struck out the final two batters to end the scoring threat. Hannibal was retired in order in the top of the fifth.
Homer took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Jackson Brazo drew a lead-off walk and stole second base. Hayes smacked a double to plate Brazo. Joey Tummino walked before Quinlan singled Hayes across the plate. Haselkorn’s sacrifice fly would allow Tummino to score.
The Trojans got a run in the second on an error and Quinlan scored on a Haselkorn single in the third for a 5-0 cushion. RBI singles by Andrew Hage and Haselkorn made it 7-0 through four innings. Cody Wagner was hit by a pitch with one out in the bottom of the fifth. Two errors pushed the score to 9-0 before Haselkorn’s third single drove Tummino home for the 10th run and the walk-off triumph.
Homer was set to visit Chittenango today for an 11 a.m. Liberty American Division game. The Trojanss were also slated to travel to the Southern Tier Saturday to face Union-Endicott and Vestal in non-league games, but the bad spring weather has forced both Section 4 schools to cancel those games in order to get some of their league games made up. Nasiatka was working on either getting a game or combined practice with another school at Preble Park to replace the two lost games.
The Trojans will have games Monday through Friday next week, starting with a Liberty Division home contest with Marcellus Monday at 4:30 p.m.