Radnor – With his team having a rollercoaster-type season, Radnor High School baseball coach Mark Jordan was hoping his seniors would have a senior night to remember when his team took the field on Monday afternoon against Central League rival Harriton.
With seniors Connor Wilson, Andrew Austen, Matt Schaefer, Martin Connor, Jack Collins and Pat Scheri taking their positions for possibly the final time at home for a game, Jordan placed the ball in junior Will Hoysgaard’s hand to try and stifle a Harriton line-up that has been scoring plenty of runs as of late.
With his teammates providing constant chatter, Hoysgaard delivered a memorable performance allowing just two runs on three hits over five innings before giving way to Pat Lofton to close the door in a 6-3 Radnor win.
Jordan said, “The seniors have been with me the past four years of this program – and the past three years of our American Legion program. They have laid it on the line for our program and they deserve all of the credit for keeping this season afloat. We lost two of our top pitchers essentially for the year – and our best player – Connor Wilson – just came back last week. There are many teams that would have packed it in – but it’s just in these guys’ character DNA. They take turns picking each other up at practice and in games. They are a lot of fun to be around – and they know the time is running out to have the privilege of putting on a high school baseball uniform. This program will miss these boys – most of whom are the last of their families who will ever play for Radnor baseball again.”
Radnor senior Andrew Austin said, “As seniors we talk to the team about playing for each other and not for your yourself and I think we have done that. Getting a win on senior day was awesome. We started off slow but have strung together some good wins lately so to get a win on senior day means a lot.”
“It feels great to get a win on senior day for seniors,” said Hoysgaard, who also added a solo home run in the third inning. “The seniors have been important all year showing us how to be leaders on and off the field and I just try to resemble that.”
The win was the Red Raiders’ third in a row and raised Radnor’s record to 7-8 overall and 5-8 in the Central League.
Despite having a key member, Connor Wilson, starting the season from the sidelines that played a part in Radnor’s slow start, the Raider seniors were determined to show the underclassmen how important it is to play for each other.
“I tried to fill his (Connor’s) role,” said Austen, following the Harriton game on Monday. “His presence his huge. He catches almost everything hit to centerfield.”
“Connor is a huge help,” added Hoysgaard. “He can get any ball hit out to center and it’s great to have him behind me.”
In the top of the fifth, Wilson showed his range saving what would have been the game-tying run at the time. With the bases loaded and nobody out Ben Newbert drove a ball to deep center that looked to be trouble.
Racing back, Wilson made a diving catch that forced the runners to go back to their respective bases and tag up. Although two runs came in on the play to slice the Radnor lead to 3-2, if Wilson did not catch the ball the Rams would have tied the game.
“Connor’s catch was absurd but we oddly expect that of him,” said Jordan. “(Ben) Newbert is an absolute beast – and that ball would have been out of most of the parks in our league. The tumble may have been excessive – but it surely was a game changer!”
Holding a one-run lead Radnor took advantage of a Harriton miscue when Schaeffer delivered a two-run double plating Wilson and Austen to build Radnor’s lead back to 5-2.
With the season coming to close, the senior class that also includes John Dougherty, Ross Ebersol and Connor Treadway in addition to the aforementioned are aiming for one last shot at postseason play. Throughout their career, they have made three consecutive district appearances winning at least one game each year.
Jordan said, “A chance to play in another payoff game would be a lasting legacy for a terrific group of young men who have gone through their share of adversities the past couple of years.”