FORT WAYNE – Nick Huyck came through at the plate after struggling on the mound, and Wayne is one step closer to a long-awaited SAC championship.
After struggling with his control through eight innings, Huyck’s single in the bottom of the ninth lifted the Generals to a 4-3 win over visiting Snider on Tuesday.
Huyck, the team’s ace, walked nine, including the leadoff batter in four innings and the second batter another time.
I didn’t get the decision, but I got my team the win anyway, said Huyck, who was 2 for 5 with two RBI. In my mind, I am looking for a pitch to hit and give my team the win.
I was wild at times, and they scored on a couple of errors. We are getting past that, trying to hit the ball hard and get out there and get our team the win.
Huyck, a Saint Francis recruit, came up clutch when his game-winning hit scored Braxton Riley from second base.
Wayne got a 3-0 lead in the third inning, Snider scored twice in the sixth and once in the seventh to send it into extra innings. Both teams loaded the bases in the eighth (the Generals with no outs) but neither could score.
Huyck got the chance when Riley got a single and the Panthers couldn’t get the out at second base on Kaine Jackson’s ground ball. Huyck hit a single into left field that easily scored Riley.
It’s been the story of this class, Wayne coach Eric Sherrill said. A majority of them played as freshmen, and it’s been a grind for four years to get them to get to the point where they believe in a game like this that they can pull it out. Anybody can step up, and that’s been the key of believing in each other. That’s been our motto, grind until the end. It’s nice to play up to the level of our competition. (The Panthers) will never be a pushover, and that’s the cool part.
Wayne (11-5, 7-1) controls its own destiny toward the school’s first conference baseball title in 21 years. The Generals have another game Thursday against the Panthers (7-9, 4-5), and then two games next week against the team that is chasing them for the SAC title – Bishop Dwenger.
We haven’t been this close in years, Huyck said of a conference championship. We control our destiny, and if we win out we win the SAC.
Colin Carney and Eric Cirilo each had two hits for Snider.
That’s kind of a microcosm of our season, Snider coach Marc Skelton said. We can play really well at times, and we can really poorly at times. Until we learn to be consistent and do the little things we need to do to move runners over and get them in with less than two outs, we are going to struggle to win games like this. We give it all we got, but we make it awful hard on ourselves at times. We get another chance to play them again on Thursday.