This season didn't start out well for the Ironwood Ridge baseball team. The Nighthawks, who made the 5A-II quarterfinals with a 17-14 record a year ago, opened up 2010 by losing their first four games.

All that changed for the Nighthawks in the Salpointe Lancer Baseball Classic during spring break. The Nighthawks won all five of their tournament games. Although the games did not count in the coveted power rankings, the Nighthawks win streak couldn't have come at a better time.

After beating Catalina 5-3, the Nighthawks defeated Blanchard, Okla., 16-8 and Cienega 6-5. Overall, they scored 41 runs, averaging just over eight per game. During their first four losses, the Nighthawks were outscored 43-20.

Junior Brandon Matthews is batting .440. The shortstop also had two hits in a game against unbeaten CDO, and he pitches.

"Matthews is probably our best hitter," said Nighthawks coach Jason Hisey.

Junior Zach Sweety is batting .429 with a team-leading seven walks for an on-base average of .600. Sweety plays the outfield and third base.

Hisey pointed out that the team has six seniors, including Alex Worden, Tyler Buntrock, Shane Johnston, Will Meyer, Mack Huff and Shane Johnston.

Worden, who plays catcher and first base, is hitting .355, good for third on the team. Matthews and Worden each batted over .400 last year.

"We haven't pieced together a whole game this year," Hisey said after the team fell to CDO to go to 0-4.

Hisey felt like the team had given the game away against CDO, and he was very displeased afterwards.

"We need to get better in all areas," Hisey said.

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