Hawks jump out big, fend off Riverview rally

By Brandon WrightFeatures Writer

SEFFNER – Armwood’s bats cooled off after a torrid start, its pitching got a touch shaky in the middle, and what appeared to be a quick night turned out to be anything but. However, when the field lights dimmed following the final out, the Hawks got off the schneid and earned some much needed feel good heading into the upcoming Saladino Tournament.

The Hawks scored 11 runs in the first two innings and snapped a two-game losing streak, defeating visiting Riverview 13-6 Thursday night.

“This is really good momentum going into Saladino,” Armwood catcher Christian Villanueva said. “Big W against Riverview. They’re in the (Saladino) silver division with us. Now we’re rolling into the week.”

Five of the first six Hawks (3-2) scored in their first plate appearances and they followed it up with six more runs the next inning. Armwood sent nine batters to the plate in the first and batted around in the second. The Hawks collected six singles, drew six walks, stole six bases and were plunked twice during that stretch.

“It was nice to jump on them early and get the bats hot,” Armwood coach Shawn Queen said. “It’s the first time really all year the bats have started off early like that.”

But Riverview didn’t go away quietly. Trailing 11-0 in the third, the Sharks loaded the bases on a single and pair of walks. Ryan Butner got the Sharks on the board with an RBI single and Ronald Blake cleared the bases with a ringing double to deep center.

But the Sharks would never get closer than seven the rest of the way.

“We came out really strong but we have to keep that energy going throughout the whole game,” Villanueva said. “We have to pound the zone better on the mound. Too many walks, too many hit batters. But overall a great game and we can definitely improve on it.”

Armwood junior Carlos Navarro.

TJ Hicks (three SB) and Carlos Navarro (three RBIs) each had a pair of singles for the Hawks, while Zalen Hicks chipped in with three RBIs.

“Feeling good. We’re just preparing for the Saladino, trying to get the offense back hot,” Navarro said. “We have the arms and if we get the offense hot, we can beat a lot of teams.”

The loss kept Riverview (0-6) winless on the young season and the Sharks have surrendered double-digit runs in four of those losses. Driston Marino (2-for-3, RBI) was the only Shark with multiple hits on the night.

Navarro said he has high hopes for his team, which moves up this season to the Saladino Silver bracket after winning the Bronze division last year.

“If we’re together as a team, we can win Saladino,” he said.


Armwood 13, Riverview 6

R 004|101|0 – |6|8|2
A 561|100|x – |13|8|0
W – Godwin; L – Shellman
2B – Marino, Boltz, Blake (R); 3B – Kamrad (R). Records – R (0-6); A (3-2).