After pitching all eight innings in a 4-3 win over visiting Hammond Friday afternoon, facing 39 batters and taking a come backer off the shin, Mt. Hebron senior Jacob Meyer (8 IP, 10 H, 2 K, 2 BB) anticipates being a little sore at his senior prom Saturday night.
"Adrenaline kicks in so you don't feel too much," Meyer said. "I'm sure tonight and at prom tomorrow I'll be dancing and it's going to hurt, but it wasn't too bad."
And even if he can't do The Running Man or The Sprinkler as effectively as his classmates, Meyer can boast something that none of them can: coming through with the game winning hit in Friday's win.
Meyer, the Vikings leadoff batter, came up in the bottom of the eighth inning with two outs and the bases loaded.
He swung at the first pitch from Hammond freshman lefty David Hutchison, who also pitched all eight innings.
"In all of my other at bats he just threw outside fastballs, and he's got that lefty little tail, so I was just trying to poke it somewhere hopefully," said Meyer, whose line drive to center field hit the grass just in front of Golden Bears center fielder Garrett Kelley, who made a valiant diving effort.
"I thought it was down right away. I got up in the box and I saw that he wasn't too far in, and I hit it and said 'there's no way he catches that,' but that kid is as fast as anything," Meyer said. "Right when he dove I thought it hit the ground and I saw the umpire" signal no catch.
The win snapped Hammond's (8-5) three-game winning streak, and with it Mt. Hebron improved to 7-6.
"I'm just really happy for the guys, they stuck with it and that's a game last year that we probably would have lost," coach Brian Culley said. "We have a little more experience about us now and we've been in situations like that."
The Vikings led, 3-0, at one point after scoring twice in the bottom of the fourth.
Marty Stevenson led off that inning by reaching on an error, and then John Leimbach reached on a second infield error that allowed Stevenson to score. Leimbach then advanced to third on a wilde pitch, and scored on Peter Turner's sac fly to center field.
But Hammond responded immediately by tying the game in the top of the fifth.
DeVonn Griffin and Derek Sicca started it off with back-to-back singles, then Hutchison and Aaron Mesol hit back-to-back RBI singles with one out. Corey Dickson drove in the tying run with a groundout.
"We go up 3-0 and what do they do? They come right back and score three the very next inning," Culley said. "That's the caliber of team they are … they scratched and clawed and they got right back in the game within three outs. They're a quality club and (coach Casey Medairy) is doing a really good job over there with that group. They're gonna be a team come playoff time to reckon with.
"They're a very good team and they're playing well and it was just a fun baseball game."
Meyer, meanwhile, recovered from his one rough inning immediately, facing only three batters in the sixth with the assistance of a double play.
"He's a senior and deserved to go back out there, and once he got back into a groove he made my decision easy," Culley said. "It was weird because they were swinging the bat well in the beginning of the game, and it feels like Jacob got stronger as far as not giving up hard contact."
It was Meyer's second start of the season.
"I planned before the day what I was going to throw, especially the first three innings, I wasn't going to throw a certain pitch," Meyer said. "I just changed what I threw, first pitch strikes to some people, and then mixed it up from there."
Hutchison also retired the side in order in the sixth, and then reached base on an error in the top of the seventh. Mesol then hit a deep line drive up the first base line, which Stevenson made a diving, somersaulting catch on, saving at least a double and possibly the go-ahead run.