HUNTLEY – Jack Glosson had little reason to exude confidence in the top of the seventh inning.
The McHenry center fielder had not put a ball in play in three at-bats against Huntley ace Eric Luecht, striking out twice and walking once. The Warriors were down to their last strike with Glosson facing an 0-2 count.
Still, Glosson heard McHenry coach Brian Rockweiler’s encouragement from the third-base coaching box: “Confidence! Nobody better!”
“That gave me the will to do it,” Glosson said. “I wanted to do this for the team. This is how we play, we’ve come back and won so many games. I wanted to keep that going.”
Glosson ripped the next pitch to the fence in right-center field to bring home the tying run and start a string of seven consecutive Warriors to reach base.
When they were done, reliever Robert Nagel had a comfortable lead with which to work in the bottom of the inning as McHenry won, 8-5, in a Fox Valley Conference Valley Division baseball game Wednesday.
“[Glosson] looked bad,” Rockweiler said. “Before that inning, I said to [assistant coach] Mike [Cohn], ‘How can he look so bad sometimes?’ He got to two strikes and he focused. We always tell them to just worry about putting the ball in play. He kind of forgot about all the things and went play-to-play instead of carrying something with him.”
Catcher Ryan Grannemann had singled to lead off the inning and Trevor Willemarck was brought in to courtesy run. Bobby Miller bunted Willemarck to second and pinch hitter Ryan Etzkorn grounded out. Glosson said Luecht threw to him in a good spot, away and offspeed.
“He was smart, that’s where I was struggling,” Glosson said. “I did well and kept my head down and it turned out well. After that we loosened up a little bit, everybody hit. This is what we came to do.”
Huntley (16-5-1 overall, 9-3 FVC Valley) intentionally walked Cody Freund, bringing up Mike Borst with runners at first and second. Borst lined an 0-2 pitch up the middle to bring in Glosson.
“This season has proved we don’t give up,” Borst said. “We’ve made a few comebacks in the last inning and today was one of our biggest comebacks. We needed this win. We hit, and when one hits, we rally and rally. We feed off that.”
The Warriors (16-6, 9-4) got RBI hits from Dylan Weston and Robert Nagel after Borst. By the time they were finished, they had scored five times for an 8-4 lead.
“Eric [Luecht] had a lot left in the tank and he’s been well-rested,” Red Raiders coach Andy Jakubowski said. You go with your best and you tip your cap to them. We knew they weren’t going to quit and they have a track record [of comebacks]. Cody Freund’s hit us hard for four years and I know Borst has been hitting the ball well. We went with the percentages and [Borst] was able to come through.”
Borst had three RBIs to lead McHenry, while Grannemann added a solo home run.
Shortstop Matt Sullivan was 3 for 3 with a homer and Matt Blair drove in two runs for the Raiders.