McHENRY – Andrew Reisinger didn't look right away. The McHenry pitcher had confidence.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, holding onto a one-run lead, Warriors center fielder Adam Mattson laid out to his right to make a diving catch that likely changed the game. Grant's Tyler Gorski's one-out drive with the bases empty looked headed for at least a double.
Instead, Mattson came out of his dive with the ball, holding his glove in the air as Gorski continued to trot toward second base in a somewhat uncertain fashion. It was beginning of the end in McHenry's 1-0 win over top-seeded Grant in the semifinals of the Class 4A McHenry Regional.
Mattson said he was confident in making the catch and riding "the emotion of the game."
"He's going to run down any ball," said McHenry sophomore left fielder Jack Glosson.
The Warriors (23-14) got out of two-baserunner jams four times. They completed three double plays and endured a two-error first inning.
After the first, they got together in the dugout and decided to move on as fast as they could. It worked as Reisinger threw a 99-pitch complete game while striking out six, hitting three batters and allowing four hits.
"We played awesome defensively after [the first]," Reisinger said. "(With runners on) I'm thinking jam him and get the double play and that's what happened. Not throwing a lot of strikeouts, that's a credit to them because they made all the plays."
The Warriors willed their way to their only run in the fourth on a pair of bloop singles from Cody Freund and Jordan Witbeck and an RBI single down the line from Glosson.
Freund had McHenry's first hit of the game in the first inning on a bunt to the left side while Glosson got the Warriors final hit with a single in the seventh. Both finished 2-for-3 as Grant's Jake Trumpis and Simeon Lucas combined to allow five hits.
"That pitcher was hitting his spots and we did what we could do to get the bat on the ball," Glosson said.
The Warriors, unhappily seeded fourth, will face the winner of Thursday's 7 p.m. Prairie Ridge and Grayslake North matchup in Saturday's 4:30 p.m. regional final.
"We knew we were capable of getting a higher seed," Reisinger said. "As you could see, we didn't let that faze us."