HERSCHER — The Seneca baseball team entered Wednesday's Class 2A Herscher Regional semifinal game with a 9-20 record, but showed that records don't really mean much when the playoffs begin.
The Irish gave Herscher, the second seed in the Class 2A Wilmington Sectional, all it wanted Wednesday before finally dropping a 9-6 decision.
Seneca led 5-2 after five innings, but Herscher came up with seven runs in the sixth to snatch the win away from the Irish, who outhit the Tigers, 13-6.
Sam Grushkin had a big day for Seneca, going 3 for 4 with two doubles, a home run and three RBIs at the plate and pitching the first 5 1/3 innings, allowing four runs, three earned, on five hits and four walks while striking out six. Other top hitters for Seneca were Colt Aldrich (2 for 5, double), Hunter Simon (2 for 4, double), Cody Altman (2 for 4) and Ashton Harty (2 for 4, solo home run)
"Sam Grushkin was up to the challenge," Seneca coach Kirk Houchin said. "His performance today was outstanding on the mound and at the plate."
Herscher led off the sixth against Grushkin with a wind-blown infield hit, followed by a walk. After a strikeout, Grushkin reached his pitch-count limit and had to be pulled.
"I am very proud of how the team responded to the challenge after losing to Herscher 10-1 on Friday and entering the game with a 9-20 record," Houchin said. "We had Herscher on the ropes, but just couldn’t finish them off. Herscher is well-coached and fought back like a good program does."
Ottawa Marquette 6, Gardner-South Wilmington 5: In the Class 1A Putnam County Regional, the Panthers (15-17) finished their season just a run shy of the top-seeded Crusaders.
GSW scored twice in the top of the first, and added single runs in the second, third and fifth innings, while Ottawa Marquette scored twice each in the first, second and third innings. Joe Morales, Nathan Wozniak, Braden Marks and Sean Hansen (two doubles) each had two hits for GSW, whie Austin Kavanaugh doubled. Connor Hays suffered the loss on the mound.
"I am proud of all my guys," GSW coach Allan Wills said. "We battled hard today, but fell a little short to a very good team."
St. Anne 15, Gardner-South Wilmington 9: Tori King was 2 for 3 with a home run as the Panthers finished the season with a 10-15 record after the loss in the Class 1A Dwight Regional. Delaney Miller also homered for GSW, while Jenni Price had a two-run single and scored a run. Carson Halpin added a double and scored a run.