Baseball: Prospect stays alive in MSL East race with win over Hersey

Owen Anderson and Jack Mannion helped keep Prospect alive Wednesday.

Anderson pounded out a pair of hits and drove in a trio of runs while Mannjon went the distance as Prospect knocked off Hersey 9-5 in Arlington Heights.

The win kept Prospect (17-9, 10-4) in the race for the MSL East. The Knights trail Hersey (18-10, 11-3) and Buffalo Grove (15-11-1, 11-3). Buffalo Grove moved into a tie with Hersey by beating Wheeling 8-0.

Hersey, Buffalo Grove and Hersey each have two games renaming in the conference regular season. All three teams have completed division play against East opponents and will play West opponents on Friday and next Monday.

Prospect needed a win it stay in the race.

“It was a good bounce back for us,” said Prospect coach Ross Giusti, whose team lost 10-4 to Hersey on Monday.

“This is one of our cleanest games of the year. Pitching, defense, and hitting. We hit the ball hard with authority on the ground and with line drives.”

Prospect got things going early when the Knights banged out four hits and tallied three runs in the top of the second.

Jackson Szwed enabled Prospect to score its first run and a sweet bunt single and the throwing error that followed allowed Matt Fouch to score. Anderson drove home a run a fielder’s choice and P.J. O’Grady had an RBI single.

Hersey got within 3-1 in the third. Will Hickey’s sacrifice fly scored Marcus Krecu who was running for Mikey Sokan, who had singled.

Anderson had a long double to drive home Szwed, who reached on an error. Nelson then had a fielder’s choice to score Anderson to put the Knights up 5-1.

“We just all swung well,” Anderson said. “When we get the bats together that’s when we really get hot. We just bounce off each other and the energy in the dugout is really good.”

Prospect pushed over another run in the fifth as Szwed had an RBI as the Knights looked like they were in complete control.

Hersey then was able to get back into the game. The Huskies’ Brady Klerk and Krecu each scored on a wild pitch while Hickey drove a run in on ground out as the Huskies pulled to 6-4 after five innings.

Prospect took advantage of two Hersey errors on one play to plate a pair of runs in the top of the seventh. Jack Krueger, who was the courtesy runner for Mannion, scored along with Fouch. Anderson added an RBI single to make it 9-4.

Hersey added a late run to close out the game.

Although he surrendered five runs, Mannion did a solid job on the bump. He threw just 84 pitches while striking out four.

“There were some times when I was a little shaky,” Mannion said. “I could tell my body language was getting bad but I just kept telling myself it stay calm. I was able to get the confidence back and work out of some tough situations.”

Hersey coach Willy Brownley said that the approaches at the plate by both teams was the difference.

“They had some really competitive at-bats,” Brownley said. “Our guys threw 154 pitches. There it is. They made us work a little bit and we made mistakes and they took advantage of it.”

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