Meadows' Hempel Thrives in Gut-Check Role
Powers, Scott J., Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: Scott J. Powers Daily Herald Correspondent
Rolling Meadows' Scott Hempel realized the outcome of Friday's baseball game against Maine West rested on his pitching shoulder.
Mustangs starter Kyle Gaedele left after three batters because of a blister - and the Rolling Meadows pitching staff was already limited due to its packed schedule.
It was up to Hempel to give his team a chance.
He was up for the challenge.
Despite having pitched only 1 previous inning this season, Hempel threw 6 2/3 innings and allowed 1 earned run to keep the Mustangs in the game.
His offense finished the job with a 3-run seventh inning to pull out a 5-4 nonconference win over visiting Maine West.
"We had been playing a lot of games," said Hempel, who had 9 strikeouts. "Our pitching staff is pretty shallow right now. I felt I had to go deep into the game."
Hempel finished his job by holding Maine West scoreless in the top of the seventh. In the bottom of the inning, his teammates rewarded him.
Kyle Henning led off the inning by beating out an infield throw. With the Warriors ahead 4-2 and the Mustangs about to send up the meat of its battling order for the fourth time, Warriors coach Joe Pederson decided to replace starter John Hirka with James Ward. …