Baseball: McHenry ace quiets Jacobs

McHenry tends to feel slightly invincible when junior righthander Brandon Shannon takes the mound, and the Warriors needed that feeling.

Reeling after Fox Valley Conference losses to Hampshire, Crystal Lake South and Jacobs last week, McHenry had their ace to stop the bleeding Monday.

Shannon struck out 10 over 5 1/3 innings before freshman Kaden Wisniewski got whiffs on four of the last five outs for an 8-2 FVC win over Jacobs. The Golden Eagles, who average 7.3 runs per game, got four hits, and their two runs were unearned.

“It was very important, especially on senior night after three losses, it was kind of getting a little over the top,” said Shannon, who is 6-0. “None of us were settling. I came out fired up today to end this.”

Owen Micklinghoff was 3 for 4 with two RBIs to lead a resurgent offense that managed only a run in each of last week’s FVC losses. McHenry (21-7, 10-6) scored in four of its six at-bats, with Micklinghoff’s two-run single as a big blow in a three-run sixth.

“Getting a run almost every inning is huge,” Micklinghoff said. “Keeping the pressure on them, adding on subtly, that’s big. Every time Brandon’s on the mound gives us a chance to win for sure.

“It’s definitely a big win after last week. You never want to lose three games in a row. Beating a team you just lost to, that’s huge. It’s nice to start the week off with a win after losing those games.”

Warriors coach Brian Rockweiler was thrilled to see some runs scored.

“We’ve been struggling with the bats,” Rockweiler said. “We struggled on Friday, against Hampshire and South. Owen had a huge day at the plate. He’s been a little banged up and fighting through it.

“Brandon looked really good. They both threw real well.”

Shannon struck out five of six batters in third and fourth innings. He and Wasniewski combined for strikeouts on five of the last six outs.

Ryan Nagel was 2 for 4 with an RBI, and Connor McLean was 1 for 2 and had a sacrifice fly RBI.

Luke Gormsen was 2 for 3, and Andrew Deegan had an RBI single for the Eagles (17-10, 8-7).

“(McHenry) did a good job scoring and getting the lead,” Eagles coach Jamie Murray said. “We got (Shannon) out of the game (at 1-2 pitches in the sixth). It thought we had good at-bats, but his splitter was a tough pitch. He’s a D-I arm.

“It’s not about wins and losses, it’s about doing things the right way and being really good by the playoffs. That’s how we’re building.”

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