By Chris Johnson


ROCKTON – The win streak for the Hononegah Indians continued into the close of the 2016 spring sports season.

Following victories over Belvidere, Rockford East and Belvidere North High Schools, the Indians pushed their season mark to 25-8 and 15-3 in the NIC-10.

Based on how well the Indians’ pitching staff has performed down the stretch, including the season closer in a one-hit, 3-0 win over the Blue Thunder, Hononegah appears ready to take its steps on a hopeful long journey.

On Friday, May 20, the Indians defeated Belvidere North 3-0 as hurler Kyle Blunt pitched a complete game and struck out eight.

In the conference closer, the Indians scored first in the bottom of the first and followed that up with runs scored in each the bottom of the second and the bottom of the third inning.

As Belvidere North was held to just one hit, in the three-run loss, Hononegah only mustered three hits for the day. In the playoffs, the high quality pitching performances must be supported by a better offensive strategy. The games get tougher as the post-season rolls on.

Leading up to the season closer, the Indians found offense a little easier, as they put six runs on the board and connected on nine hits in the game, in a 6-1 win over the Bucs.

Belvidere scored first in the Wednesday, May 18 clash, as they put a single tally up, in the top of the first.

Hononegah would not score until the bottom of the second, as they put two runs on the board.

In the bottom of the third, they added two more.

Entering the midway point of the NIC-10 battle, the Indians led Belvidere 4-1.

Over the next two innings, the Indians padded their lead, as they scored single runs in the bottom of the fourth and bottom of the fifth innings.

Entering the sixth, the scoring was complete, as Hononegah sent its visitors home, following the 6-1 win.

Hononegah did commit six errors in the game, as Belvidere was tagged with three miscues.

Cameron Hart was 3-3 in the Indians’ win. Kyle Damon was 2-4 and Brad Henderson batted at a .667 clip with two doubles in the match.

The streak began for Hononegah as they paid a visit to Rockford East on Monday, May 16.

The Indians came away with the 4-1 win and took control of the game, when their first chances appeared.

Into the top of the second inning, Hononegah was in front 1-0.

In the bottom of the second, the visitors added two runs to the total and carried a 3-0 edge, into the third.

After exchanging runs, following East’s single tally in the top of the frame, Hononegah answered, to reclaim the three-run advantage, one they would never relinquish.

Alex Larson picked up the win for the Indians. He also contributed with his bat, as he went 2-3.

Hart was 2-2 in the Indian’s victory.

Hononegah’s focus turned to the Class 4A Baseball State Championship Tournament on Monday, May 23, as they watched to see who their first round opponent would be.

Guilford, the number eight seed in the Huntley Sectional Complex hosted nine seed Auburn in the Monday play-in game.

The winner moves on to the Wednesday, May 25 showdown with the two-seed Indians.

The Regional Semi-Final survivor will move on to face either three seed Huntley or seven seed Rockford East in the Rockford Guilford Regional Final.

The next step for Hononegah, if the Regional Crown is theirs to claim this week, will have to be taken in Huntley, as they would face the winner from the Barrington Regional, in which Crystal Lake-Prairie Ridge is the overall top seed and is expected to win through its opening round game against either nine seed Elgin or ten seed Elgin-Larkin.

Barrington, the four seed in the Barrington Regional, does have the potential to upset Crystal Lake-Prairie Ridge, if they can get past seven-seed Dundee-Crown, in their own Regional Semi-Final.

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