Riding Herlihy’s arm and Basgaard’s bat, Shrewsbury Post 397 overcomes Hudson Post 100

Post 397 wins nine-inning thriller against Zone 4 rival

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Riding Herlihy’s arm and Basgaard’s bat, Shrewsbury Post 397 overcomes Hudson Post 100
Shrewsbury Post 397 celebrates after pulling ahead in the top of the ninth inning. (Photo/Evan Walsh)

HUDSON — Pitch by pitch, Connor Herlihy willed his team to the finish line.

On a night when Shrewsbury Post 397’s bats were slumping, Herlihy’s strong pitching performance continually gave the team new life — and an opportunity to win the game. On Monday night, Shrewsbury (14-6) competed against Zone 4 rival Hudson Post 100 (15-3) under the Guidotti Field lights, winning the extra-inning contest 3-2.

Herlihy — a 2024 Brooks School graduate — pitched all nine innings for Post 397. After allowing an opening-inning run, he settled in nicely. Over 90 pitches, Herlihy faced 34 Hudson batters, walking one, surrendering seven hits, and striking out four. With the game knotted at 1-1 until the ninth inning, Herlihy handled the high-pressure situation well.

“He’s been a gutsy young man. He wanted the ball. I went out there in the seventh and I said, ‘It’s up to you. If you want to pitch, I’ll let you pitch.’ He pitched, we got a few breaks, but he got it done. I’m really proud of him,” longtime Post 397 Head Coach Frank Vaccaro told the Community Advocate after the win.

Riding Herlihy’s arm and Basgaard’s bat, Shrewsbury Post 397 overcomes Hudson Post 100
Shrewsbury Post 397’s Connor Herlihy pitches the ball. (Photo/Evan Walsh)

“In the first inning, I missed a couple spots and that’s where the hits come from. The balls I was throwing were up in the zone. I knew I had to keep it low, and there would be more ‘roll-overs,’ and my team could make the plays behind me,” said Herlihy.

Though Herlihy controlled the Hudson bats, Shrewsbury couldn’t pull away from Post 100. Hudson pitcher Teddy McFarland — a 2023 Hudson High School graduate — was equally as sharp on the mound, pitching eight innings of three-hit baseball. Over 100 pitches, McFarland struck out six, walking only one. Between Herlihy and McFarland, neither offense could get anything going, and the game remained tied 1-1.

“I think we’ve got a good team. They’re going to compete. We have to step up with our bats a little bit — they’re not where we like them to be … We’ve got to get more hits out of the top of our order, and we will. We’ve got to learn how to take pitches,” said Vaccaro.

Riding Herlihy’s arm and Basgaard’s bat, Shrewsbury Post 397 overcomes Hudson Post 100
Teddy McFarland fires the ball toward home plate. (Photo/Evan Walsh)

Post 397 would finally get the timely hit the team was searching for. After Jimmy Mitchell singled to open the ninth inning, clean-up hitter Noah Basgaard roped a double to left field, giving Shrewsbury a 2-1 lead. Tommy Kursonis’ single scored Basgaard later in the inning, and Post 397 extended its lead to 3-1.

For Herlihy, the run support was a matter of “if,” not “when.”

“I had confidence in them,” he said. “We always pull through as a team. Everyone’s super tight here. We’re all like family. We all want to win, and we all want to win for each other.”

Riding Herlihy’s arm and Basgaard’s bat, Shrewsbury Post 397 overcomes Hudson Post 100
Shrewsbury’s Noah Basgaard fields the pick-off attempt as the Hudson runner stumbles back to the base. (Photo/Evan Walsh)

But it wouldn’t be that easy for Post 397, who knew from prior experience that this Post 100 team fights until the very end. On June 25, Hudson was down to its last strike against Shrewsbury and, after trailing 2-1, came back to win the game 3-2.

It almost happened again. On the first strike he saw, Hudson’s Chase Barrett tripled, scoring on a Post 397 error. The next batter singled, and, before long, Post 100 had the game’s tying run on third base with one out. Shrewsbury would end the threat, but not without some drama: A Post 100 batter hit an infield grounder, sending the runner at third sprinting home. The throw beat him by about a quarter-step.

“They’re really good. I’m not going to tell you that it wasn’t in the back of my head that they had done it to us before. I just made up my mind to stay with our pitcher, and we made some key plays. They’re really good — it’s just baseball,” said Vaccaro.

“It was huge. It was a tough throw, and he got him … Baseball is a game of inches, and tonight, the inches went our way,” he continued.

Riding Herlihy’s arm and Basgaard’s bat, Shrewsbury Post 397 overcomes Hudson Post 100
Hudson gathers between innings. (Photo/Evan Walsh)

 

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