Hawks play quarterfinal game today

12 years ago

    It has been 10 years since Hodgdon’s baseball team has reached a play-off game. They will take the field today at 3 p.m. in the Class D quarterfinals against the No. 7 Shead Tigers, who beat Wisdom, 7-3, in their preliminary game on Monday.
    “We are going to enjoy the game win or lose,” said Hodgdon coach Rob Smith. “I have asked the team [players] to give me their all and play to the best of their ability all season, I would expect nothing less in the playoffs.”
    The Hodgdon Hawks have faced adversity throughout this season and have overcome.
    “In the first seven games, I used seven different lineups,” Smith explained. “In the third game of the season, we lost our catcher [Josh Hudson] to a broken ankle and in the next game, our back-up catcher Drew Gough sprained his ankle and missed a few days. Then, our second baseman [David Donahue] missed a game with an injured wrist halfway through the season.
    “We have battled through many games with only one player available on the bench,” added Smith. “This team has fought through much adversity and continued to find a way to win games.”
    The Hawks are familiar with Shead since they faced each other twice during the regular season.
    “They have three pitchers [Tom Collins, Tim Demolet and Frank Schuth] who we’ve faced,” Smith said. “They pitched well against us.”
    The Hawks faced Collins — who threw a complete game for a 2-1 win — in the teams’ second meeting. In their first game, both teams committed four errors and let up six runs each on walks. Shead pulled out a 19-18 win.
    “We have to limit our errors and walks,” Smith said. “We have had games with few walks, but committed two or three errors, which eventually led to runs. If we are not committing errors, we are walking batters who eventually score.  Our pitchers will have to be accurate or around the plate to make batters swing. Shead is very patient at the plate and will take a walk if the pitcher is wild.
    “If we are not hitting well, we will need to play more small ball,” explained Smith. “We may have to use the bunt more often. It has been effective when we have used it and will have to continue to be in the playoffs.”
    Last year, the Hawks finished in 13th position with a 7-8 record.
    “Each game a new person would step up to lead the team … that is all I could ask for them to do,” said Smith. “As one person went down, we would ask that replacement or others in the lineup to step up.  Each game someone would make a big play or timely hit and it paid off. This team has been very successful and I am proud of every one of these guys. Each one has played a crucial role on and off the field.”