February 25, 2014

Hilton gets help in no-hitter for Northwest Whitfield

TUNNEL HILL — Northwest Whitfield High School junior Logan Hilton and Christian Heritage sophomore Spencer Robbins were both sharp as the left-handers dueled on the mound Tuesday night at Richard S. Chumley Field.

Hilton was nearly perfect, how-ever, and at the plate it was the Bruins who took advantage of their opportunities.

Hilton struck out 14 batters in six innings and combined with Seth Pierce on a no-hitter as the Bruins won their non-region season opener versus the Lions, 4-1. Caleb Shiflett hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth for a little breathing room, while Edwin Hernandez scored twice for Northwest.

“I had pretty good control of my fastball, and the plate umpire was helping both of us out,” Hilton said. “I was nervous at the start of the game, but hopefully this is a building block to a good season.”

It was certainly the start veteram Bruins coach Todd Middleton was looking for from Hilton. Christian Heritage managed to put only five balls in play against Hilton, who faced one over the minimum.

“Logan has looked good in the offseason, looked good last summer and looked good coming into the season,” Middleton said. “To all of us, it wasn’t unexpected that he would come out and throw like he did in the first game. He isn’t overpowering, but he does a good job of throwing strikes and keeping hitters off balance.”

Robbins was just as effective through the first three innings, allowing only one hit.

Northwest broke the scoring ice in the fourth, crossing the plate without the benefit of a hit. Robbins gave up a leadoff walk to Hernandez, a rare mistake that proved costly. Hernandez stole second, went to third when the throw went to the outfield and later scored on a wild pitch.

In the sixth, Northwest finally was able to string together a few hits. Hernandez drew a one-out walk, stole second and came home on Pierce’s single up the middle to give Northwest a 2-0 lead.

That brought on a pitching change for the Lions, and Shiflett jumped on the first offering from Nich Bartley and sent it sailing into the trees in left for the first home run of his high school career.

“That first pitch is usually a fastball and usually the first pitch is going to be the best pitch from a reliever,” Shiflett said. “I was focused on that first pitch.”

Pierce worked the seventh for Northwest, hitting a batter and re-cording one strikeout.

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