Baseball: Dundee-Crown runs past Rockford Jefferson
Updated: May 21, 2012 9:32PM
All game long Monday Dundee-Crown put runners on base without bringing them around, while Rockford Jefferson put them on only to get them picked off on the base paths.
Something had to give in this Huntley Class 4A Regional play-in contest, and it was Jefferson’s defense. Garret Ryan took advantage of a bobble in left field to come around from second base and score the winning run in the bottom of the seventh on Mike Hazelhurst’s one-out single for a 2-1 Dundee-Crown victory which put the Chargers in a Wednesday semifinal matchup against top-seeded Crystal Lake South.
“Originally I had no intentions of sending him,” Chargers coach Tom Parisi said of Ryan. “He was going to hold up at third.
“There was one out and we’d have the winning run at third. Then I saw the ball bobbled and I sent him — I took my chances.”
Ryan pulled up when he saw the stop sign from Parisi, but left fielder Bret Robinson had the base bounce off the heel of his glove. He quickly grabbed it and threw home, but Jalen Wimberly cut off the throw, and any chance of getting Ryan at home was gone.
“It was a risk but it was one of those kinds of things where we had ourselves in scoring position multiple times and we couldn’t get the job done,” Parisi said. “It was time for a gamble and we’re lucky it paid off.”
The Chargers left nine on base in the first five innings, and scored their only other run in the third on Ryan Suwanski’s bases-loaded, game-tying walk.
Hazelhurst delivered in the clutch with the line-drive single to left for the win after he had gone 0-for-2 with a pair of strikeouts against Jalen Wimberly.
“I was just trying to get the ball to the right side and I hit it to the left, and it just kind of worked out,” Hazelhurst said. “It felt good comiing off the bat. I made solid contact and it found a hole.
“Their pitcher threw really well. He was probably one of the best pitchers we saw all year. We got just enough to win and move on.”
Jefferson’s hurler struck out eight and walked six. He allowed seven Charger hits.
Winning pitcher Erik Brewer (3-5) matched Jalen Wimberly almost pitch for pitch, though, giving up only five hits and walking none. Jefferson’s only run came in the third on an obstruction call against Chargers third baseman Nick Hathon. Jalen Wimberly rounded third and Hathon was reaching out for a throw from catcher Dylan Kissak and crashed into the runner.
“I had my fastball all game and later on in the game I got my curve ball going, too,” Brewer said. “Dylan played a great game behind the plate. He got me out of some jams.”
The Chargers (9-20-1) made four errors behind Brewer, but they also got three J-Hawks runners out on the bases. Kissak tagged Jalen Wimberly out in the sixth after a missed suicide squeeze bunt attempt, and Jefferson failed to score despite having runners at first and third with none out. In the seventh, Kissak picked Eric Haugdahl off third with runners on first and third and two out.
“Dylan has been a wall all year for us back there,” Parisi said. “He calls all the pitches and knows the pitchers. He’s taken on a real leadership role as a junior.”
Zach Gerrard went 3-for-4 for D-C while Mitch Gorsuch had two hits for Jefferson (11-22-1).
Facing South (26-9), the co-Fox Valley Valley champs, in a Wednesday 4 p.m. game at Huntley will be a difficult task for D-C. The Chargers lost 17-7 and 5-1 to the Gators in the regular season.
“It’s like I told the guys: There’s no pressure on us,” Parisi said. “No one expects anything from us. If we come out and play our game, a lot of times teams upset other teams in these playoff games. South is good, but we’re better than our record shows.”