McHENRY – McHenry had not done much of anything against Prairie Ridge starting pitcher Joe Hansen.
The Warriors had three runners reach base and no hits through 32/3 innings.
Then, everything happened at once.
Owen Patzin ended Hansen’s no-hitter with a sharp single to left field. Joe Kaminski executed a hit-and-run, poking a single to right field to put runners on first and third. The Warriors (10-2, 4-0) pulled off a double steal that was not supposed to happen. Then, Nos. 8 and 9 batters Carter Foat and Jake Evans delivered RBI hits.
It was enough as two McHenry relievers allowed one run over the final three innings, and the Warriors held off the Wolves, 4-2, in their Fox Valley Conference game Thursday at Petersen Park.
“We strung together some good at-bats,” Warriors coach Brian Rockweiler said. “I didn’t think we had too many good at-bats before that. We had some guys at the bottom of the order who came through and did a good job for us.”
Kaminski (4-0) got the win even though the four-inning outing was not his sharpest. Nick Morris pitched the fifth, and closer Dylan Honkala threw the last two innings.
With two outs in the fourth, Patzin jumped on a first-pitch fastball to get things started.
“He gave me a pitch I liked. I was just trying to do my job and get on and start something,” Patzin said. “[The hit-and-run] was perfectly executed. We couldn’t have asked for more.”
The offensive woes caused Rockweiler to think unconventionally and hit-and-run with two outs.
“Rock harps on it all the time, do whatever you can to get the bat on the ball,” Kaminski said. “I just put the bat on the ball to the right side, and it worked. We don’t ever want to lose and feel like we can’t lose. We just really bear down and grind out at-bats and get people on base and get the runners in.”
Courtesy runner Nico Ghiselli got mixed up on Rockweiler’s signal and stole second. When the throw went toward second, Patzin raced home. Nolan Shannon then walked before Foat and Evans got their RBI hits.
The double-steal stuck with Wolves coach Glen Pecoraro, whose team is 7-7, 3-3.
“We don’t execute that and that’s the game,” Pecoraro said. “They did the hit-and-run with two outs, which is kind of rare, but it worked, then ran the first-and-third, and we didn’t execute. There’s three runs right there. Aside from that, Joe pitched well. We needed some timely hits, and we didn’t come through.”
Roth Mizell singled off Honkala in the sixth and scored when Alex Powers doubled. Honkala retired the next five batters in order, three by strikeouts, to preserve Kaminski’s win.
“[Kaminski] didn’t have his best stuff, he struggled throwing his offspeed pitches for strikes,” Rockweiler said. “But he competed and kept us in the game.”
STAR OF THE GAME
Owen Patzin, McHenry, sr., SS
Patzin got the Warriors’ first hit, with two outs in the fourth inning, to start a three-run rally. He also made a crucial defensive play in the fourth, going into the hole for a ground ball and firing a strike to first to nip Prairie Ridge’s Braden Burza and save a run.
2: Runners thrown out attempting to steal second by McHenry catcher Chase Grasso.
AND ANOTHER THING...
McHenry pitcher Nick Morris did not expect to see action and spent the first four innings running the scoreboard in the press box before being summoned to warm up. He threw a scoreless fifth for the Warriors, bridging from starter Joe Kaminski to closer Dylan Honkala.
McHenry 4, Prairie Ridge 2
Prairie Ridge 001 001 0 – 2 5 2
McHenry 000 301 x – 4 5 0
WP: Joe Kaminski, 4-0 (4IP, 2H, 1R, 1ER, 2BB, 5K). LP: Joe Hansen (4IP, 3H, 3R, 3ER, 2Bb, 3K).
Top hitters–Prairie Ridge: Colin Lamb 1-3 (2B, RBI), Braden Burza 1-3 (R), Roth Mizell 1-1 (R), Alex Powers 1-2 (2B, RBI). McHenry: Owen Patzin 1-3 (R), Carter Foat 1-2 (RBI, R), Jake Evans 2-3 (RBI).