Hersey's Jake Yager made the move from right field to the pitcher's mound and closed the door on host Wheeling 6-5 Wednesday.
Yager was impressive as he pitched nearly two innings of shutout relief. He kept Wheeling off balance with his changeup, allowing just one Wildcat to reach base on an error as Hersey (4-8, 2-2) beat Wheeling for the second time this week.
Contact information ( * required )
"I did warm up in the bullpen when we were hitting," said Yager, who picked up his second save of the season. "Coach said that he was going to pull me from right field. It felt real good out here."
Yager was summoned to pitch in relief with one out in the sixth and the tying run at second. Facing a 2-0 count, Yager got the next two batters out by not allowing the ball out of the infield.
"Wheeling is a scrappy team," Hersey coach Bob Huber said. "Yager did a great job for us and shut the door for us."
Wheeling (3-8, 0-5) took a 1-0 lead in the first as Nathan Cooney scored on a RBI single by David Shapiro.
Hersey then threatened to blow the game open.
The Huskies grabbed the lead in the third thanks to a pair of walk, a sacrifice bunt, a sacrifice fly by David Milligan and a RBI double by Ryan Rodgers. In the fourth, Hersy tallied three times on a RBI bloop single to left and a 2-run double by Joe Silva.
Shapiro closed the gap in the bottom of the inning, belting his first homer of the season to make it 5-2.
Hersey came back in the fifth, when Rodgers led off with a homer to left to give the Huskies some insurance and a 6-2 lead. It was a run that Hersey would need later.
"It felt real good," said Rodgers, who was 2-4 with 2 RBI. "And it came at the right time. We won by one run, so we needed it."
Wheeling rallied in their half of the fifth. Josh Kim, who singled to start the inning, scored on an error and Shapiro came up big again, driving in two with a single.
"I have made a couple adjustments in my hitting," said Shapiro, who was 3-for-4 with 4 RBI. "And it showed today."
With the bases loaded and no outs, Hersey uncorked a wild pitch. Brendan Spillane, who was on third, attempted to advance, but Huskie catcher C.J. Reichel retrieved the ball quickly and then dove across the plate to tag out the sliding Spillane.
"It was a clutch run, so I knew I had to get back," Reichel said. "I just tried to find the ball as fast as I could and then dove toward home plate."
After a walk reloaded the bases, Hersey's Tommie Pearson got a strikeout and an easy fly to center to end the threat.
"I am hurting bad for my guys right now," Wheeling coach Jason Wieder said. "These guys come back from being down 6-2. They really fought. But again, we find a new way to beat ourselves."
Despite the win, Huber is looking for better play from his team as well.
"We are still looking for more consistency," Huber said. "We played better on Monday against them. Today we came out and didn't get the pitching we needed at times."
Barrington 14, Conant 4 (5): Macray Poidomani hit a grand slam and finished with 5 RBI, and Ryan Lidge also homered as Mid-Suburban West leader Barrington topped Conant in 5 innings.
Winning pitcher Scott Nelson allowed 7 hits for Barrington (9-7, 4-0), which had 12 hits and committed only 1 error.
Rolling Meadows 10, Prospect 6: The host Mustangs produced a 5-run rally in the bottom of the sixth inning -- and ended up needing those runs as Prospect rallied for 5 runs of its own the top of the seventh.
Matt Dennis, Dan Hendrickson and Erik Schurtz doubled for Rolling Meadows (6-5-1), which stayed perfect in the Mid-Suburban East at 4-0.
A.J. Compton homered and drove in 3 runs for Prospect (1-7, 0-5), and Grant Gerdes had a double.
Mickey Wazorick earned the victory for Rolling Meadows and Schurtz got the save.