HAMPSHIRE – Prairie Ridge closer Caleb Senyshyn insisted that nerves were not involved in the bottom of the seventh inning, even after surrendering a leadoff double to Hampshire’s Piotr Barnas.
“I actually just got mad after [Barnas] hit that double,” Senyshyn said. “I realized my mistake on it. I knew what I did wrong. I got really, really mad and just beared down. I wasn’t about to give up that win.”
The Whip-Purs’ R.J. Cosigny bunted Barnas to third for Nos. 3 and 4 hitters Michael Laramie and Tyler Crater. Senyshyn threw both batters quality sliders that induced pop-ups to wrap up the Wolves’ 3-2 victory in their Fox Valley Conference crossover baseball game Wednesday.
Prairie Ridge (18-8 overall, 9-5 FVC Valley Division) trails division-leading Huntley by two in the loss column. The Wolves have five remaining FVC games. Hampshire fell to 10-12, 3-11.
“We played these guys six times last summer and every game went into extra innings,” Wolves coach Glen Pecoraro said. “I was expecting a close game. We were fortunate enough to steal one here. We haven’t won a close one in a while.”
Prairie Ridge grabbed a 2-1 lead in the top of the fourth on RBIs from Jordan Getzelman and Dustin Thelander. Hampshire answered in the bottom of that inning on Barnas’ second of three doubles that drove in Colin Gogoel.
Prairie Ridge third baseman Mike Hallstrom led off the sixth with a shot off the heel of left-handed pitcher Andrew Brown’s glove. Brown remained in the game.
“I sat on a changeup and hit it. I hope [Brown] is OK,” Hallstrom said. “I hit that ball pretty hard. I was just looking to drive it up the middle.”
Jack Lasswell pinch ran for Hallstrom and was bunted to second by Thelander. Lasswell then raced home from second on a wild pitch that skipped past Whips catcher Tyler Crater, who could not find the ball. Crater thought he had blocked it and Brown ran toward home plate pointing at the ball. By that time, Lasswell had scored.
Danny Burris pitched the first four innings for Prairie Ridge, then Matt Furst was scoreless through the fifth and sixth. Senyshyn came on in the seventh for his third save. There was a moment with Laramie at the plate where pitching coach Andy Deain visited the mound.
“We talked about trusting the defense and making pitches count, not leaving anything too good for them,” Senyshyn said.
Brown allowed seven hits and three earned runs through six innings.
“We rose to the challenge and I have the utmost respect for Prairie Ridge,” Hampshire coach John Sarna said. “I have nothing but respect for that program. We faced them six times over the summer and they were all close ballgames. The kids were looking forward to this.”