For the first time since May 14, 2019, Eureka played a baseball game.
Because COVID-19 wiped out the 2020 spring sports season, the Wildcats got back into action at home against Windsor from Imperial on a sun-drenched Saturday afternoon.
Both teams had trouble adjusting to live pitching and Eureka pitchers Cole Koonce and Evan Schiek combined to strike out 14 Owls in a 2-1 walk-off victory for the Wildcats.
Sophomore Maloy Heaghney scored both of Eureka’s runs, including the game-winner in the bottom of the seventh inning. Heaghney drew a walk to start the inning and was moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Oren Munk. With two outs and in an 0-2 hole, senior designated hitter Daley Thompson smoked a line drive off of Windsor lefthanded reliever Eric Streicher that got past second base into the outfield, allowing Heaghney to score the winning run.
“I saw Daley up and I was like, he’s going to get a base hit here, so when he hit it, I was running as hard as I could and knew I was going to score – no hesitation,” Heaghney said.
The game was scoreless until the bottom of the fifth when with two outs, Eureka’s Carson Katz lifted a high fly ball to shallow right field, the ball was misplayed and Heaghney scored from second base.
The Owls tied the game in the sixth when with two outs, Austin Happel scored from third base on a wild pitch in the dirt by Schiek.
“I’m very happy we got to play. It’s been raining all week and I was happy we were able to play a baseball game after how long it’s been,” Eureka head coach Jim Daffron said. “We have a lot of work to do between the lines. We have a lot of new guys and a lot of mistakes are going to be made when you haven’t worked together.”