UNION CITY – Mississinawa Valley handed Jackson

UNION CITY – Mississinawa Valley handed Jackson Center a 16-10 loss in non-conference baseball action on Friday to run its record to 7-1 overall.

The Blackhawks are off to one of their best starts in many years, and head coach Max Guillozet couldn’t be more pleased.

“We’re playing really good baseball right now and hitting the ball well. I think we had four or five doubles tonight,” Guillozet said.

The Hawks jumped on top of Jackson Center early, going up 3-0 in the first inning, and then batted around in the second inning, plating five more runs to go up 8-3.

Jackson Center fought back on the strength of grand slam from shortstop Jake Francis to tie the game at 8-8.

“Jackson Center is a much better team than they were last year, and offensively they are pretty good. Their shortstop might be one of the best I’ve seen. Wow, can he hit for power,” Coach Guillozet said.

“We missed some opportunities, and that’s why you’ll hear me throughout the game pushing the boys forward because in this game you have to get routine outs if you want to win on a regular basis,” Coach Guillozet said.

But to the credit of the Blackhawks, they continued to put the bat on the ball and by the end of the sixth inning had doubled up the Tigers 16-8.

Kyler Guillozet did a nice job of keeping Jackson Center off balance over the last three innings by mixing up his pitches and speed.

In the final inning Jackson Center finally plated a few more runs with some help from Mississinawa in the field … but the Blackhawks would hold on to record a 16-10 win.

Mississinawa pounded out 17 hits including seven doubles on the night. Zac Longfellow went 3-for-4 with two doubles and two runs scored. Trent Collins was 3-for-3 with three RBIs. Ethan Dirksen was 2-for-3 with three RBIs. Kyler Guillozet was 3-for-5 with three RBIs. Colton Hines 2-for-5 with two RBIs. Cody Dirksen 1-for-2 with two RBIs, and both Blake Scholl and Max Dirmeyer each had a run batted in on the day.

Matthew Slob started the game and threw three innings with seven strikeouts. Kyler Guillozet threw the last four innings, and he had five strikeouts and picked up the win.

“These kids battle,” Coach Guillozet said. “I’ve been here seven years now, and they are buying into what we need to do, and we are finally putting it all together. These guys have a goal to compete for a league title, and they’re excited to be in the hunt.”

With a 4-1 record in the conference, the Hawks are right in the thick of it a half game behind National Trail, who is 4-0 on the year.