HUNTLEY – The scouting report called for McHenry pitcher Andrew Reisinger to attack Huntley’s powerful lineup with a variety of off-speed and breaking pitches.
After two quick innings and 12 pitches combined, Reisinger’s success dictated otherwise. The 6-foot-4 senior right-hander thrived on location and movement, sticking mainly with his fastball as the Warriors defeated Huntley, 7-0, Monday in their Fox Valley Conference Valley Division baseball game.
Huntley (22-4 overall, 14-4 FVC Valley) clinched a share of the FVC Valley title on Friday and has one remaining game at 7 p.m. Thursday against McHenry at Petersen Park. If Crystal Lake South loses its final division game at Dundee-Crown today, the Raiders win outright. If South wins, Huntley would need to beat McHenry for sole possession of the championship.
Reisinger struck out two, walked two and allowed six hits in becoming only the second pitcher to shut out the Red Raiders.
“It was probably the best pitching job we’ve had against us all year,” said Raiders coach Andy Jakubowski, whose team averages 9.7 runs a game. “He did a real nice job running the ball in on our hands and got a lot of ground ball outs.”
Reisinger (3-3) estimated 90 percent of his 81 pitches were fastballs and was thrilled to quiet the area’s most prolific lineup.
“It feels amazing,” said Reisinger, who recently announced he would attend NCAA Division I Illinois-Chicago as a preferred walk-on. “”Credit to the team for coming out and hitting right away. It was phenomenal. I was hitting my spots, which was working really well. I was going inside and jamming them, that’s why we got so many double plays.”
McHenry turned three double plays and committed no errors behind Reisinger. The Warriors (19-7, 11-6) scored five times in the second off starter Bryce Only. That was plenty of support for Reisinger.
Kyle Snedeker, Payton Lykins and Jordan Witbeck all had first-pitch singles in that inning, while Adam Mattson, Cody Freund and Cole Hoeppel-Tranter drew three consecutive walks.
Freund, McHenry’s junior catcher, said the Warriors took some momentum from Saturday’s 14-8 victory against Prairie Ridge.
“We had a lot of confidence going in,” Freund said. “We sat on first-pitch fastballs and everybody was taking good hacks, keeping their heads down, staying short. [First pitches] are usually the best pitch because the pitcher wants to get ahead.”
Huntley’s best threat came in the fifth inning when Tommy Kiriakopoulos and Tyler Mindak singled with one out. Reisinger then got a sharp grounder from pinch hitter Nick Cusumano, hitting in the No. 9 spot, for the Warriors’ third double play.
“It was a tough adjustment seeing faster pitching than we’ve seen the last two or three games,” Huntley leadoff man Colin Lyman said. “We’ve seen a lot of junk pitchers. His fastballs were getting in on our hands. We were having trouble getting used to that.”
Rockweiler said while the Warriors are out of the division race, they talked about affecting the race in any way possible.
Jakubowski said the loss might not be all bad.
“Sometimes it’s OK to lose,” he said. “It knocks you off your pedestal and makes you want to want it a little bit more. We have a phrase where we don’t want to drink the Kool-Aid. I think maybe we did a little bit. Maybe it knocks us down a little bit and it’s a learning experience so we don’t carry that over into the playoffs [next week].”