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In their first full week of baseball games due to the inconsistent and unpredictable weather, the Henry County Wildcats are riding a four-game winning streak.
During the Male Spring Break Tournament, the Cats lost to Male (5-1) last Monday, rolled past Muhlenberg South (9-1) Tuesday and defeated Seneca (5-1) Wednesday. They followed that with two wins in a double-header with Villa Madonna Saturday (5-2 and 16-0), which left them at 6-2 overall and on an upswing heading into this week.
The 4-1 record over Spring Break left Austin Hunsaker - who predicted the turnaround the day Henry headed out to play in the tournament - look like a coach who knows his team and his players' abilities. It was not a surprise to the first-year head coach.
"Like I said, one or two big hits was what we needed to get our hitting going, and that's what's happening," Hunsaker said. "Confidence is starting to spread throughout the lineup. I think, especially with our hitting, our confidence is going up.
"Anytime you go 4-1 over Spring Break, it's a great week," he added. "With the way the weather has been, it was like a kick off to the season."
It also helped that Henry got a big lift from the pitcher's mound. Daniel Lyons pitched against Male, Tyler Cox pitched against Muhlenberg South, Anthony Palmer pitched against Seneca, Jordan Bryant pitched the first game against Villa Madonna, and Ross Williams and Nolan DeBurger split time on the mound in the final contest of the week. Henry gave up just three earned runs the entire week - two against Male and one against Muhlenburg.
"Our pitching has been phenomenal so far," Hunsaker said. "I'm not really surprised. We teach our pitchers to throw strikes and trust the defense, and that's what they're doing. We have full confidence in all of them."
Offensively, Henry got its bats rolling this week, led by the first three batters in the rotation - Anthony Palmer, Taylor Boone and Ben Roberts. Henry also got solid base hits from Joey Pollard and Williams, Hunsaker said.
"Top to bottom, our bats have been really consistent, and it accumulated with our 16-0 win Saturday," Hunsaker said. "It was what I figured - the more we play, the better we would come around. We are going to get better every game, and that's all we are looking for."
Henry's game scheduled Monday at home against Louisville Collegiate was canceled due to water on the field, while the Wildcats were scheduled to play at Carroll County Tuesday. Their next game is scheduled for this Thursday at home against Walton-Verona. Game time is set for 5:30 p.m.
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