With a rematch of the PBL Championship on Fourth of July Weekend, the Boise Hawks have had fireworks all weekend long, with a firework show Saturday, Sunday, and on the fourth. The Hawks entered the weekend fourth in the south division, with a record of 13-20. After dropping the first game against the Missoula Paddleheads, the Hawks sat 5.5 games back in the division while the Paddleheads lead the North Division… though not much room for error as the Hawks’ rival, Idaho Falls is only three games behind.
The Hawks starting pitcher, Matt Gabbert, gave up a run in the first inning but settled into his groove up until the fifth inning, when he gave up 3. Entering the night, Gabbert had not given up a home run, but gave up two to the defending champions over 5 plus innings.
On the offensive side, the Hawks added two new players: Frankie Jezioro and Jordan Rathbone (Spokane, WA native). The two new additions instantly provided a spark in the lineup. Jezioro went 4-6, scoring two runs. While Rathbone went 2-5, and two of the biggest hits of the night for the hawks:
The Hawks bats went silent with runners in scoring position after they scored seven runs in the first four innings. Until, the eighth inning when they tied up the game, the Paddleheads then took the lead in the top of the ninth, but the Hawks tied it up with one swing of the bat in the bottom of the ninth (an early firework for the crowd):
The game would remain tied after the solo blast, and the game would end up going into a knockout round, in the first round the Paddleheads would call on their home run leader Jayson Newman, who had 14 coming into the evening, he would only one in the opening round, as the Hawks called upon Jacob Cruce, and he wouldn’t be able to tie it up.
Whats next for the Hawks?
As Boise falls to 13-22 on the season, all they can do is keep grinding and hope for a late-season surge like last season.
“Keep grinding, and try to figure out how to win these games, but first you got to be in them to learn. We made some mistakes, but we keep battling and put ourselves in a situation to win it in the ninth.”Gary Van Tol, Hawks Manager
Last year, the Hawks won the South division outright in the second half of the season and were able to make it to the Pioneer League Championship.
“That’s the goal, it’s a marathon, 96 game schedule, we’re trying to put the right pieces together. Last year, we used the first half of the season to get our pitching in order, and everyone established their roles. We have enough talent in this clubhouse to compete. It’s going through games like this and learning how to lose before you learn how to win.”Gary Van Tol
Just like any ballclub, the Boise Hawks have seen some guys excel and some guys struggle this year.
“We hang on to our guys longer than usual, but we want to give everyone a fair opportunity. Trying to manage a 25-man roster, is probably the biggest challenge. We have try to keep everyone healthy as well, because you never know when someone is gonna go down, we have a couple guys on the IL, so that opens up opportunities but I’m really excited about the new additions we made to the roster.”Van Tol