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Hanna hurls a gem as Rebels win home opener

ADAMS — Although he may have left a no-hitter on the mound, Southland junior Harrison Hanna didn’t pout or throw a fit. Instead, he stepped aside and enjoyed his team’s 9-1 win over Alden-Conger/Glenville-Emmons (2-7 overall) in the Rebel baseball team’s home opener Tuesday.

Hanna struck out 12 while allowing just one walk and one hit batter through five and one-thirds innings when he was relieved with Southland leading 9-0. Hanna retired the first 11 hitters he faced in a row, but he wasn’t thinking about perfection at any point — he just wanted the win.

“They just say to hit your spots and throw strikes. That’s what I’ve been relying on all year and it’s worked, Hanna said. “I kind of realized (my pitch count was getting high when I got taken out). I just came out and did what the coaches said. I didn’t really think about the no-hitter and I didn’t really know about it. I just kept throwing strikes.”

While Hanna could have finished the start, Southland head coach Scott Koenigs wanted to make sure he would be available later this week as the Rebels play at Houston Thursday and host the Hurricanes on Saturday.

“That was my choice to take Harrison out. He was at 75 pitches and we may need him on Friday,” Koenigs said. “It was a 9-0 game. The decision was hard when he had a no-hitter going, but he’ll probably have more. He’s just a junior and I’m pretty sure he’ll have more opportunities at a no-hitter. He pitched really great today.”

The Rebels (5-2 overall) put together just five hits in the win, but senior Dan Boe had a big one when he launched his first ever home run in Adams to put Southland up 2-0 in the bottom of the third inning. Boe felt good connecting on the pitch and added that the Rebels are starting to connect on the field after missing the 2020 season.

“I was kind of surprised by the homer, but it felt good to see it go over the fence,” Boe said. “We’re learning how to play with each other and we’re learning about who we can rely on during games.”

Alec Bissen added a two-run single for the Rebels in a six-run fifth inning, but the team is still hoping it can improve its hitting in the weeks to come.

“We didn’t swing the bats very well at all today,” Koenigs said. “We kind of sat back and got into some counts that weren’t good. We expected a little bit more hitting, but the defense and the pitching was solid, and any win is good in baseball.”

ACGE 000  001 0  —  1  1  1

Southland 012  060 X  —  9  5 0

Southland pitching: Harrison Hanna (W) 5 ⅓ IP, 1 BB, 0 R, 12 K, 1 HBP; Gavin Nelsen, ⅔ IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 1 ER, 1 HBP; James Mullenbach, 1 IP, 1 BB, 0 R, 1 K

Southland hitting: Alec Bissen, 1-for-3, 2 RBIs, R, 2 SB, 2 BBs; Mullenbach, 1-for-2, double, R, 2 BBs, HBP; Nick Boe, 0-for-4, BB; Dan Boe, 1-for-2, HR, RBI, 2 BBs, 2 R; Eli Wolff, 1-for-3, RBI, HBP; Hanna, 1-for-2, double, RBI, R, 2 BBs; Nelsen, 2 BBs, 2 SB, 2 R, RBI; Jonah Wiste, 0-for-2, BB; Connor Edland, 0-for-1, HBP; Travis Kirtz, 0-for-1, R, HBP