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West Orange Times & Observer Thursday, Mar. 3, 2022 4 months ago

Horizon High baseball makes home debut

The Hawks seek their first victory at home against East River March 4.
by: Chris Martucci Sports Editor

The atmosphere was electric at Horizon High School’s baseball field as the Horizon Hawks took to the field at home for the first time in the team’s history. Fans had been waiting all fall and winter for a chance to see the home team play its first home game. 

Despite scoreboard problems from the offset, it was a normal night at the baseball diamond. 

Horizon started off the game getting a quick 2-0 advantage in the first inning. The Hawks then pushed that to 3-0 in the third inning after a wild pitch from Wekiva. 

Horizon pitcher Ron Butkus pitched strong through the first three innings, allowing no runs and earning several key strikeouts. He finished the night with five strikeouts to go against two walks before being pulled in the fourth inning after allowing Wekiva to get within a run. 

The Mustangs used a big sixth inning to go up 6-3 with one inning left to go. After struggling to get guys on base, with Wekiva striking out the side in the fourth and fifth innings, Horizon finally seemed to catch a break. 

Casey Simmerly and Richard Ruby both walked to open the sixth inning. After Anthony Garay struck out and pinch-hitter Joshua Murillo walked to load the bases, catcher Tanner Kramer came up to bat with a chance to potentially tie the game. 

Kramer ripped one into left field, scoring Simmerly and Ruby to put Horizon down only a run. The crowd, which had been a bit down in energy, suddenly woke up and cheered loudly, thrilled by the possibility of a late comeback by the home team. 

That didn’t happen as the next two batters struck out to strand Murillo and Kramer. 

Kramer finished the game 1-for-2 with a force out and being hit by a pitch, in addition to the two-run RBI single.

Wekiva added two more runs in the seventh inning to give itself a more comfortable lead heading into the final frame. Wekiva ultimately sealed the deal, winning by a final score of 8-5. 

The quest for Horizon’s first win continues at home against East River March 4.

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Chris Martucci was the sports editor for the West Orange Times & Observer,  Southwest Orange Observer and He holds a master's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri — Columbia School of Journalism, as well as a bachelor's degree in digital media...

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