If Hunter Hipsman can have the type of game he had against Birdville while battling the flu, imagine what he could do healthy?
The Midlothian junior finished the game 3-for-3 with four RBI and a run scored to help key the offense in a 10-3 win. He was the only Panther with multiple hits on the day.
“I can play that good but I wasn’t expecting four RBI,” Hipsman said. “I’ve been sick for two days so coming back today on my first day I was ready to get some time in and start hitting the ball.”
Just like almost every other game at the Robert Dulin Memorial Tournament, Midlothian fell behind after the first inning and had to battle back. This time around, the Panthers wasted no time in putting the necessary offense on the board.
Colton Clanton and Conner Roberts posted back-to-back RBI groundouts to score two insurance runs and take a 3-1 lead. One batter later, Hipsman kept adding insurance with an RBI single to make it 4-1.
The Panthers tacked on another run in the second with Cody Cain’s RBI single. Hipsman came back around in the third and with Clanton advancing to second on a passed ball the junior notched his second RBI of the day on a single.
Midlothian scored another run in the fourth on an error to take a 7-1 lead but gave up two in the top half of the fifth to keep the game going.
Needing a few more runs to earn the run-rule win, Clanton led the inning off with a walk followed by a double from pinch hitter Blaine Blackburn. With two runners in scoring position, Hipsman came through again, this time roping a double into the left field corner that plated two runs and ended the game.
“I came in in a clutch situation and we hit the ball today and played really, really good as a team. I’m happy that we won,” he said.
Coach Ray Hydes was happy to see his team keep a steady approach at the plate. Coming into the tournament, Midlothian had been inconsistent at best when it comes to hitting. The Panthers were held under two runs three times last weekend in Waco while scoring 12 in the other game.
In three games this weekend, the team already had 30 hits with two or more runs in each game. The run support allowed starter Kyler Brown to pitch with ease, allowing just three runs on six hits while striking out three, including the final two batters he faced.
“The kids are starting to get a little confidence. I felt like all along we could do that, we just didn’t know when it was going to happen. It makes it easier for our pitchers,” Hydes said. “Kyler threw a heck of a game, did a good job and I thought we played well.”