GLEN ELLYN – For reasons that extended past dropping a pair of games to Glenbard West, Saturday was a tough day for the Hinsdale Central baseball team.
But the Red Devils showed a resiliency in responding with an 8-4 win over the Hilltoppers Monday to salvage the final game of the West Suburban Silver series.
Glenbard West swept Saturday’s twin bill, which also saw standout center fielder Chris Botsoe suffer a serious injury.
“I wasn’t sure how they would respond,” Hinsdale Central coach Jason Ziemer said. “Saturday was tough, I know I was pretty down for a number of reasons. But the guys who were playing [on Monday] really picked us up.”
The visitors jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning, thanks to an RBI double by Ryan Haff, a two-run double by Maxwell Peters and an RBI-single by Trenton Barnett.
An RBI double off the bat of Matt Muellner extended the advantage to 5-0 in the second and Barnett and Ben Doyle plated additional runs in the third.
Haff added a solo home run in the seventh inning, and the pitching duo of Charles Banke and Dan Teska made that offensive support hold up.
“That was huge,” Haff said. “What marks a great team is how you respond after a bad day. We weren’t clicking on all cylinders on Saturday and I think it was a huge statement to bounce back.”
On Saturday, the Red Devils finished with one more hit than the Hilltoppers but lost 6-1 in the opener and 4-3 in the nightcap. However, those defeats took a backseat to the health of Botsoe, who was hit in the eye with a pitch during the second game.
The Louisville recruit needs surgery and will miss the rest of the season because of the injury, but he was well enough to be in attendance on Monday.
“It is so unfortunate,” Ziemer said. “He is such a nice kid and has a positive attitude about everything. It’s not just what he brings on the field, it is what he brings to the dugout and the locker room. I feel really bad for him but I’m glad everything will be OK. He will heal up and be back for the summer.”
Haff echoed his coach’s sentiments.
“It was real tough to see him go down,” the senior shortstop said. “I was really glad to see him out there on Monday. It could have probably been worse so I am happy he is OK and it was nice to see him walking around.”
The Red Devils then went on to defeat Hinsdale South 2-0 Thursday behind a dominant pitching performance from Austin Butler.
Butler scattered six hits over seven innings, struck out seven and walked three to earn the win.
Central pushed two runs across in the top of the third. Jacob White led off with a double, moved to third on Matt Muellner's groundout and came home on Ryan Haff's sacrifice fly. Max Peters then walked and later scored on Trenton Barnett's single.