CRYSTAL LAKE – McHenry scored six runs in the fifth inning and held on for an 8-7 Fox Valley Conference crossover victory over Crystal Lake Central Tuesday at Fred Tipps Field.
The Warriors started out the scoring in the second inning with some two-out execution. After a walk, McHenry (6-1, 2-0 FVC) used back-to-back singles to go up 1-0. Crystal Lake Central (2-5,1-1) would show their own version of small ball in the bottom half of the second inning.
Blake Gleason started the inning off with a double and was sacrificed to third base before scoring on an RBI groundout.
McHenry would go back ahead in the third inning. Payton Lykins had a one-out single and advanced thanks to a Tiger error. Lykins would score on a single by Cody Freund.
Much like they did earlier in the game, Central would battle back in the fourth inning to take the lead back.
The Tigers scored three runs after loading the bases with nobody out to take a 4-2 lead.
The fifth inning is what hurt Crystal Lake Central. McHenry would send 12 batters to the plate and score six times to take the lead for good.
The Warriors took advantage of three Tiger errors, and much like they have done all season stayed aggressive on the basepaths.
“We did some hit and run plays well today and were able to execute,” McHenry coach Brian Rockweiler said. “We did the little things and took advantage of some mistakes and that is what it takes to win.”
The Tigers were able to claw back to 8-7 and looked to have the momentum heading in to the bottom of the seventh inning with the middle of their lineup due up.
The Warriors Robert Nagel had other ideas. Nagel gave up just three soft groundouts to earn the save for McHenry.
“I wasn’t sure if I was going to use Robert (Nagel) today because he has pitched so much lately,” Rockweiler said. “I knew he could give us one inning if we needed him and thought that was a good time to use him.”
McHenry was led by Freund and Nick Lahrman who each had two hits.
Tuesday was more of the same for Crystal Lake Central.
“Big innings have killed us and that is the story of our season,” Tigers coach Dan Badgley said. “You can’t give up six runs in an inning and expect to win.”
Central was led by Gleason’s three hits.