Hamilton Tops Lexington For Third NHSI Win

CARY, N.C.—Hamilton High (Chandler, Ariz.) finished its week at the National High School Invitation with its third straight win, taking down Lexington (S.C.) High, 6-2, Saturday morning.

Zach Strand

Zach Strand (Photo by Alyson Boyer Rode)

The Huskies dropped their tournament opener to Milton (Ga.) on Wednesday, ending their hopes of winning the title, but they responded by sweeping through the consolation rounds, beating Jenks (Okla.) and Tullahoma (Tenn.) before finishing with Lexington.

"We dropped the first one by one, late, and it's kind of a downer because you come here wanting to move on in the tournament," Hamilton coach Mike Woods said. "But I told the kids, there's only going to be maybe a couple teams that are 3-1. There's only going to be one 4-0 team in the whole tournament. So let's be one of those 3-1 teams."

The Huskies took advantage of six Wildcats errors on Saturday, opening up a 6-0 lead through four innings. The Huskies put the pressure on early, executing a successful squeeze play in the second as part of a three-run rally, and they added six stolen bases on the day. The last two of their runs, in the fourth, came when throws from Lexington catcher Nick Ciuffo sailed into center field trying to catch men stealing second, each allowing a lead runner to score.

Sophomore righthander Nick Ohanion gave a strong effort on the mound for Hamilton. Both runs against him were unearned, and he permitted just four hits, walked four and struck out three.

"We thought he had a tough challenge, and I thought he was just awesome," Woods said. "He got ahead in the count and kept them off balance. I'm very very pleased with what he gave us today."