Hilldale's Brandon Blevins delivers a pitch during baseball action against Fort Gibson on Monday evening at Hilldale.

Fort Gibson’s Taylor Richey put his own kind of freeze on Hilldale’s bats at a chilly Hornets’ diamond in high school baseball action Monday.

The Tigers’ pitcher struck out five batters and tossed four innings of hitless ball as Fort Gibson rallied to top the Hornets 6-5.

Richey, relieving starter Kacy Cook, struck out two batters in the bottom of the seventh inning as Fort Gibson won its season opener.

Fort Gibson coach Randy Smith was pleased with Richey’s showing.

“He did a good job,” Smith said. “He can throw the slider and he has that change-up. Taylor shut them down.”

Hilldale coach Darren Riddle agreed after his team dropped to 1-2 for the season.

“They executed and we didn’t,” he said. “We didn’t hit and we’ve been hitting the ball. We didn’t produce.”

Richey also got some nifty defensive help during his stint on the mound.

Billy Waltrip robbed Hilldale left fielder Michael Chang of a hit in the sixth inning when he drove and slid on his stomach toward left field to make the catch.

The Tigers scored the decisive runs in the sixth inning, rallying from a 5-4 deficit.

Brandon Jackson singled in Robbie Nunez for the first run and Cale Parnell’s single dropped in front of the Hornets’ left fielder and Jackson came home with the run. Brandon Bass, in relief of Brandon Blevins, was the loser.

Richey then struck out Austin Evans, got John Frisby to ground out and Devin Rowan struck out to end the game and give the Tigers the win. Fort Gibson now plays host to Locust Grove at 4:30 p.m. today.

Hilldale, meanwhile, begins play in the Checotah Tournament today at 4 p.m. against Wagoner. The Hornets then play host Checotah at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday and face Muldrow at 11 a.m. Thursday.

The Hornets had their big inning in the fourth against Fort Gibson, pushing across four runs.

In that inning, Rowan singled in Jordan Carbone, Bass singled in Austin Evans, Craig George drove in Rowan on a groundout and Bass scored on a throwing error that allowed Chang to reach base.

Fort Gibson scored first with two runs in the second inning when Andrew Arnold singled in Parnell and Nunez singled in Arnold. The Tigers led 3-1 before Hilldale had its four-run fourth inning.

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