With his team battling a tough streak at the plate and a cold northeast wind blowing in, Crosley Duckmann knew he and his teammates would need to get back to basics.
"I tried to get my front foot down and take a two-strike approach and hit it hard on the ground," Duckmann explained. "As a team, we have been struggling a little bit. Hopefully this will get us going."
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Duckmann's approached worked well, with the senior reaching base on all 4 of his appearances and scoring 3 times as Maine West overpowered Hersey 10-6 Saturday in Des Plaines.
"It was a game we needed," Maine West coach Joe Pederson said. "I think we have something good here. We just have to keep finding a way to out it all together.
Maine West (5-10) began to turn things around in the bottom of the second.
Trailing 2-0 with runners on second and third, Dillon Ronan lined a two-out single to right scoring Sean Russell, who had singled and Joe Swanson, who had walked.
"I knew what I had to do," Ronan said. "There was definitely a shift in momentum. Guys started to get up off the bench and started to play a little harder."
The Warriors built off of that in their next 4 at bats, scoring in each inning.
In the third, Maine West was able to push a pair of runs across the board to take 4-2 lead. Swanson singled to right with the bases loaded, scoring Chris Selgrad, who led off the inning with a hit. Jake Riportella, who had walked, scored from second on an error on the play.
Hersey (6-10-1) cut the lead to 4-3 in the 4th. Joe Silva, who reached on an error and went to third on Jack Warner's single, scored on a sacrifice fly by Mitch Smelser.
The Warriors threatened to put the game out of each in their half of the fourth inning, when they scored 3 times to make it 7-3. Eric Outlaw, who doubled with one out, scored on a single by Crosley Duckmann. Riportella singled to drive home Selgrad, and Riportella was able to later score on a fielder's choice by Swanson.
Hersey roared back with 3 in the top of the fifth. The Huskies loaded the bases with one out. Luis Rosado scored on a error and CJ Reichel drove home a pair with a single to right. But Maine West pitcher Austin Jablenski got a strikeout to end the threat.
Maine West was able to get a pair of insurance runs thanks to some misplays by Hersey in the fifth.
After Geoff Duckmann walked, Selgrad followed with a single to out runners on first and second. Crosley Duckmann singled sharply to right and Pederson threw up the stop sign for Geoff Duckmann at third. Selgrad, however; continued on to third. When Geoff Duckmann realized there would be two runners at third, he broke for the plate and was able to avoid the tag at home. Selgrad later scored on a wild pitch.
"It was good to see us take advantage of other team's problems," Pederson said. "We have been giving teams extra opportunities per inning."
Maine West added a final run in the sixth. Russell reached on an error and was bunted along to second by Swanson. Robert Andrade followed with a shard single to right.
Hersey coach Bob Huber, whose team won a 16-14 slugfest with Hoffman Estates on Friday, said that his pitching has let him down recently.
"It has been frustrating," Huber said. "Our pitching has been a sore spot for us. We keep grinding away and getting better and better.
"We have scored 22 runs in the last to days, you would like to think that you would win both games."