McHenry prevails late
Updated: April 25, 2011 6:24AM
Putting on a suicide-squeeze bunt can sometimes make a coach look like a genius or key a win for the opposing team.
The latter occurred at Dundee-Crown on Thursday when Chargers coach Jon Sawyer put the play on in the sixth inning against McHenry, which prevailed 4-3 in Fox Valley Conference Valley Division action. D-C was down by a run, but had runners on second and third with only one out.
The Chargers' Corey Volberding missed the bunt attempt, giving McHenry catcher Jake Poulos an easy tag out on Steve Schwartz. Kyle Bernhard tried to advance to third, but Poulos gunned him down for the last out of the inning.
"I saw (Schwartz) coming home, Joe (Feilen) threw a great pitch and I got the tag down," Poulos said. "Then I got up and saw (Bernhard) going to third and our third baseman made a great play on him."
The sixth inning ended with the Warriors (7-7, 6-2) ahead by a run. The score wouldn't change in the seventh as McHenry's Jamie Rammel recorded the final three outs for the win.
Rammel relieved starting pitcher Feilen, who went six innings and gave up three runs before being lifted in the bottom of the seventh with one on and nobody out. Feilen struck out six, walked three and gave up five hits on the afternoon.
"He did a real good job of throwing strikes," said McHenry coach Brian Rockweiler. "Got behind a few times, but bared down when he had to and got the job done."
Feilen had to work from behind early after giving up an RBI single to Nick Spagnola in the bottom of the first inning. The hit scored Jake Romano from second base.
The Warriors gave their pitcher his first lead to work with in the top of the third. Cody Freund knocked in the first McHenry run with a double to left field. Pat Murphy then hit a fly ball to center field, allowing Pat Maher to tag up and score from third. Trying to advance to third on the fly ball, Freund left the base early and was called out on the appeal for the last out of the inning.
D-C (8-8, 5-3) came back with a leadoff home run from Scott Nowicke in the bottom of the third to tie the score at 2.
The Chargers and Warriors traded runs in the fourth inning, setting up a 3-3 game going into the fifth. McHenry took the lead in the frame on a Murphy single up the middle. Devon Gehrke, who reached base by virtue of a bunt single, scored what would be the winning run.
"We did a great job of battling back, we did enough offensively to win," Rockweiler said. "Only struck out once, and we tell them always that if we strike out less than three times we are going to win somehow."
Sawyer looks at the game as one filled with missed chances. The Chargers stranded seven runners and were unable to take advantage of six McHenry errors.
"It was obviously really disappointing," Sawyer said. "We had a lot of opportunities but we could never get that key hit to put us over the top. We would get things going and put guys in scoring position, but we couldn't get them home."