SENECA – The combination of rainy, chilly weather and the Sandwich Indians failed to completely ruin senior night for the Seneca baseball team Tuesday evening.
Prior to Tuesday’s originally scheduled game, the teams made up the final two-plus innings of a game that had been postponed Monday. Sandwich scored twice in the bottom of the seventh to win, 9-8.
Seneca also blew an early one-run lead in the nightcap, but a four-run outburst a half-inning after doing so sparked the Fighting Irish to a 5-3 win in a split in the Interstate Eight Conference series.
“Feels great,” said senior Irish outfielder Austin Applebee. “Everybody played together, and we didn’t have too many mistakes. We were playing as a team and pulled it out.”
Another senior, Brandon Pasdertz, starred in multiple ways in the win. Pasdertz pitched all seven innings, allowing two earned runs on eight hits, walking four and striking out eight. His two-run double was the key blow in a four-run Seneca third that saw Hunter Simon double and score, and Brant Baudino hit a sacrifice fly.
“We’ve had kind of some down points this season. This is definitely our highest point,” Pasdertz said. “We got regionals coming up, and you always want to go into regionals doing your best. I mean, this is one of our better games, and this is great that we had a win on senior night.”
All five Irish (11-22, 5-9) seniors started and contributed in some way. Applebee reached base all three times he came up and scored twice. Luke Sohan doubled and walked. Conlan Callahan and Cole Klicker were each hit by a pitch, with Klicker showing ill effects initially but staying in the game and doing the heavy lifting on a double play that ended it.
In Tuesday’s portion of the resumed game, Irish reliever Brandon Viken held Sandwich in check for what remained of the fifth inning and the sixth, but the Indians got two on with one out in the seventh. Trevor Dabbert failed twice to get a bunt down before blooping in a single, which loaded the bases, and Bailey Watros faced an 0-2 count before lining a two-run single in front of the left fielder.
“We’ve been losing games by one run and close games all year, and that’s another tough one,” Houchin said. “They hit a couple bloopers that made it in earlier in this game yesterday, had a couple swinging bunts. We’re getting killed by things like that.”
Simon tripled and scored in the first and Pasdertz homered in the second for Seneca during Monday’s action. The Irish then scored three runs in both the third inning and the fourth, with Applebee and Viken doubling in the third and Lars Pihl hitting an RBI double in the fourth.
Sandwich scored three runs in the third and two in the fourth to remain close.