Baseball: Burlington Central capitalizes on Huntley’s late miscue
Updated: April 30, 2012 10:13PM
In a game where each team left runs on the base paths, it came down to one miscommunication at a crucial moment when area powers Huntley and Burlington Central met in a nonconference game on Monday.
Tied at 2 in the bottom of the sixth, the host Rockets had runners on first and third with two outs and No. 8 hitter Kevin Zasada at the plate.
Huntley pitcher Craig Klein had been keeping a close eye on Bryan Cynova at first and Ray Hunnicutt at third the whole at-bat, and with a 3-2 count attempted a pickoff play at first. However, the first baseman wasn’t covering and the ball rolled to the fence, allowing Hunnicutt to score from third, and Cynova to move to second. Zasada struck out on the next pitch, but the damage was done and Central hung on for a 3-2 win.
“A little miscommunication there. A 3-2 count with two outs. We told (Klein) he was playing off but I guess it just didn’t register,” said Huntley coach Andy Jakubowski. “But we hurt ourselves early in the ballgame not getting runners in.”
Added Central coach Kyle Nelson: “We got a break there. Obviously they’re a really good team and they won’t make that same mistake again. I guarantee it.”
More drama ensued in the top of the seventh. Huntley (13-12) leadoff hitter Colin Lyman reached on a walk with two outs and later advanced to second on a wild pitch. Jordan Chuipek then grounded to the second baseman, but the ball was bobbled and Chuipek was called out on a bang-bang play at first as Lyman was racing around third hoping to score.
“It was like a playoff atmosphere,” Jakubowski said. “Two good programs and both teams really respect each other.”
Senior Zach Ranney (6-0) earned the complete-game win for the Rockets (17-6). He allowed four hits, three walks, a hit batter, and struck out six. He worked out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the top of the third, and also got out of the fourth inning unscathed after Huntley put runners on second and third with one out.
His blemish came in the second inning when junior Bryce Only belted a line-drive two-run home run over the left field fence for a 2-0 lead. Central responded in the bottom of the third when Tanner Scott drilled a two-out, two-run homer to left-center to tie the game. The blast was Scott’s 10 round tripper of the season.
“At first during the beginning of the game I was a little nervous but I settled in toward the end of the game,” Ranney said. “Tanner had that huge hit to tie the game and after that I anchored down.”
Klein (3-4) took the loss for Huntley, allowing four hits over six innings with six strikeouts.