Hubbers snap Pirates’ six-game winning streak

Posted 6/28/22

Hubbers sweep Prescott for the first time since 2008 Photo by Reagan Hoverman By Reagan Hoverman On Sunday, June 26, the Ellsworth Hubbers traveled to play the Prescott Pirates and trailed nearly the …

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Hubbers snap Pirates’ six-game winning streak


Hubbers sweep Prescott for the first time since 2008

Photo by Reagan Hoverman

By Reagan Hoverman

On Sunday, June 26, the Ellsworth Hubbers traveled to play the Prescott Pirates and trailed nearly the entire game, until the ninth inning when the Hubbers rallied to score three runs to secure a 6-5 win and snap Prescott’s six-game winning streak.

The Highway 10 rivalry is alive and well. Whether it be high school football, basketball or townball baseball games on a Sunday afternoon – both Prescott and Ellsworth desperately want to defeat each other.

After holding Ellsworth scoreless in the top of the opening frame, the Pirates scored two runs in the bottom of the first inning and jumped out to an early 2-0 lead. In the second inning, both teams began to settle into the game.

For the Hubbers, that meant veteran player Rob Heller returning to the mound after giving up a couple of runs in the first inning. As

the game progressed, Heller settled into his first start of the year and found a groove.

For the Pirates, that meant a continuation of what Bloomington native Eric Munson started on the mound in the top of that first inning. Both Munson and Heller reached down deep and found their A-game, as neither of them gave up a run in the second through fifth innings.

Trailing 0-2 entering the top of the sixth, the Hubbers’ bats found new life. After a walk to start the inning and a sacrifice bunt to move the runner into scoring position, the Hubbers hit a single to shallow center field that scored the runner to make it a 2-1 game.

After a single down the right-field line and a walk, Ellsworth had the bases juiced with only one out. That’s when player/manager Jeremiah Paulson hit a two-RBI double down

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the left-field line to take a 3-2 lead going into the bottom of the sixth.

The middle innings of the game marked the end of the road for Heller, who after giving up two early runs, righted the ship and didn’t allow any additional Pirates to score. Paulson spoke about Heller’s performance on the mound.

“This was Rob’s first game back and his first time out,” Paulson said. “He’s a competitor. He doesn’t want us to take him out, he is a veteran and is figuring out a way to compete as he gets older. In that first inning you could see he hadn’t been on the mound all season, then he settled in and got us to where we finally started hitting.”

Heller’s first start of the season bought the Hubbers just enough time to get the bats going. According to Paulson, once the hits started coming in the sixth inning, the dugout loosened up and the energy began to grow among the team.

“We just settled in and started to see pitches,” Paulson said. “We’ve faced Eric Munson so many times. He’s had our number for years and we were a little flat. We started working counts, we got a walk and then we broke through with a hit and hitting is contagious.”

The Pirates didn’t go quietly, even as the Hubbers got rolling. Prescott scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to regain the lead 4-3. After a scoreless eighth inning by both squads, Ellsworth was down to its last three outs in the top of the ninth.

With one on base and one out, the Hubbers swiped a bag to get a runner into scoring position. The next two Ellsworth batters were walked, which loaded the bases with only one out in the inning. That’s when the Hubbers hit an RBI single to shallow left field to tie the game 4-4.

A sacrifice fly by the next batter gave Ells worth a 5-4 lead and then the next batter, Paul- son, ripped an RBI single down the right-field line to take a 6-4 lead. The RBI was Paulson’s third of the day. He was the driving factor in the upset victory over Prescott.

Although the Pirates scored a run in the bottom of the ninth, they didn’t have enough to overcome the two-run deficit and lost 6-5, ending the club’s six-game winning streak. Paulson spoke about the victory after the game.

“We were a little shorthanded and weren’t sure how it would go, but it just feels good to fight with that team,” Paulson said. “They’re such a good ball team and it feels good for us to keep competing with them.”

The win improved Ellsworth’s record for the season to 5-4, the Hubbers’ first time above .500 this far into the season in more than two years. Paulson spoke about the success this season and how it has happened.

“I think we were 4-12 last year and 6-10 the year before,” Paulson said. “We’ve taken steps bringing guys in and the young guys are starting to get it. We’ve got a good group and I’m very happy for these guys. They come out to the park and practice on Wednesdays, they don’t have to be here and they choose to be here.”

The win not only moved the Hubbers above .500 for the season and improved the record above last year’s entire season, but this is the first time that Ellsworth has swept Prescott in the season series in more than a dozen years.

“This is the first time we’ve swept Prescott since I started in 2008,” Paulson said. “It’s different and we have to relish in something we haven’t done before.”

Ellsworth will look to carry its newfound success into the next game on the schedule, a game at home against the Osceola Braves on Wednesday, June 29, with the first pitch set for 7:30 p.m.