Baseball: Bufflalo Grove likes life on the road, beats Hersey
Even if there is no place like home, Buffalo Grove is finding life on the road.
The Bison have yet to practice on their home field or play a home game on the field this season due the wet spring coupled with poor field drainage. Their game Monday with Hersey was moved from Buffalo Grove to Hersey early in the afternoon due to unplayable fields.
But the Bison are truly road warriors. They erupted for six runs in the final two innings to beat Hersey 9-5 in the MSL East opener for both teams.
"I am really proud of our kids," said Buffalo Grove coach Bill Montemayor, whose wife, Elizabeth, gave birth to their son William eight days ago.
"All we can do is play on the road. But it is good to be out in the field. It was a great day. We played well."
Buffalo Grove tied for the MSL East title last season and the Bison advanced to the conference title game thanks to tiebreakers. There they beat Barrington in the MSL title game. Bison third baseman Matt Wolverton, who has committed to Dubuque, said the team is still building off that success from last season.
"It is a team effort," said Wolverton, who had 3 hits and scored 3 runs.
"We have put in a lot of work. We have had six games canceled, but we persevere. We go to practice and we work hard every day, we focus 100 percent every day."
Buffalo Grove (3-3, 1-0) had 10 hits and took advantage of 9 Hersey walks. The Bison took a 1-0 lead as Jack Alport walked and would later score on a wild pitch.
Hersey (3-5, 0-1) tied the game as Nico Kreku reached on a hit by pitch and would score on Chuck Meister's fielder's choice.
The Bison regained the lead when Wolverton doubled. He scored on Dennis Ratzki's single. Ratzki would then score on Michael Wolverton's fielder's choice to make it 3-1.
Hersey, which struggled against Payton Diaz, finally got to him in the bottom of the fifth. Robb Meister doubled home David Denten and Connor Kave. Robb Meister would then score on Aidan Groberski's single and an outfield error as the Huskies took a 4-3 lead.
Buffalo Grove loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the sixth thanks to three consecutive walks. Hersey appeared to be able to dodge the threat when the Huskies got a force out at the plate and strike out.
Bison freshman Griffin Kelly had two strikes on him when the rookie came up with the play of the game. He lined a curve ball just over the leaping Groberski at short to drive in a pair of runs and put Buffalo Grove up for good.
"I was just sticking to the approach," said Kelly, who had three hits on the day. "You can't swing at a curve ball before two strikes. Just sat on the curve ball and drove it the other way."
Buffalo Grove put the game away with four insurance runs in the seventh.
Jack Alport had an RBI single, Diaz had an RBI double, Alex Beihoffer had am RBI double and Ratzki had a sacrifice fly.
"They are a good team and you have to make them earn it," Hersey coach Wally Brownley said. "I would rather see that solo homer than a walk. It is the struggle we are having now. But it is still early."