Hononegah ready to take its winning formula to the state tournament

High School Sports

BELOIT, WI (WTVO/WQRF) — Hononegah is set to make its first trip to the state tournament in the sport of baseball this Saturday. The Indians are one of four teams ready to go for the big prize in class 4A.

The Indians will go into Joliet this weekend with a record of 26-2. Their formula for success is a simple one.

“Pitchers throwing strikes is a big part that. I think our pitchers throwing strikes keeping our defense involved that really helps us and then us, our team, we all hit,” said shortstop Gabe Roessler.

The Indians have also shown the ability to come through in pressure situations. They did last Friday when they edged the number one ranked team in the state Huntley in extra innings. They did it again this past Monday night when they shook off an early deficit to take the lead and then held on against Mt. Prospect in the Super-Sectional in Schaumburg.

“They play loose,” said head coach Matt Simpson. “They have a passion for the game. They play hard all the time. They have the utmost confidence which I think is the biggest thing.”

The Indians believe their recent performances show that they’re ready for any situation that might come their way at the state.

“It shows what we’re really capable of when things don’t go our way,” said outfielder Bryce Goodwine. “We just keep fighting, and I feel like that’s what makes a championship team.”

In the semifinals at 10 a.m. Saturday morning in Joliet, Hononegah will play the Plainfield East Bengals a team with a 17-15 record. The Bengals boast three pitchers who are going to division one colleges.

“One’s going to Notre Dame. One’s going to Illinois, and one’s going to UW-Milwaukee, so it’s not often you see three division one pitchers on the same team,” said Simpson.  “We’re going to see some velocity and some obviously very accomplished high school pitchers.”

“We’ve got to make them come to us, said Roessler. “We can’t be helping them out with swinging at balls. If we start doing that and chasing, those pitchers are going to feast.”

“We know that we can hit,” said catcher Noah Goddard. “We know that we can pitch. We all know we have the defense behind us, so every game now we’re just going to take it one-by-one.”

“We’re top four now in the state, so I mean, whoever we play is going to be the best, so we’ve got to play our best,” said Goodwine.

Simpson believes Hononegah is more than capable of getting two more wins Saturday. “We’ve been talking all year that our best is going to be good enough on any given night, and it’s about us.”

The other 4A semifinal pairing Saturday will be Roselle Lake Park against O’Fallon. That game will be played after the Hononegah-Plainfield East game. The consolation game will be played at 4 p.m. and the championship game at 7 p.m.

Note: Hononegah has been practicing at Pohlman Field in Beloit this week due to the Chemtool explosion in Rockton.

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