Baseball: Joliet Catholic edges MinookaJoliet Catholic Academy's starting pitcher #22 John Chignoli vs Minooka held at home and JCA won 8-7 on Monday, April 09, 2012. | Larry Kane~For Sun-Times Media
Junior left-hander Matt Testa put an end to the intrigue Monday, striking out three straight Minooka hitters after the first two had reached safely in the top of the seventh inning to preserve Joliet Catholic’s 8-7 victory at Gillespie Field.
“I wasn’t nervous at all. I was just trying to keep the ball down and throw strikes,” Testa said.
That was the idea on this windy day. Six of the 10 hits for No. 4 Minooka (8-6) went for extra bases, but 10 Indians struck out, and Minooka’s pitching walked four straight batters in a decisive four-run fifth inning for No. 5 Joliet Catholic (8-3). A two-run throwing error was huge in the Hilltoppers’ three-run second as well.
“We had our chances,” Minooka coach Jeff Petrovic said. “But we gave away too much and we struck out too much. It is impossible to win like that, which we proved.”
“Minooka’s a good team. They battled,” Joliet Catholic coach Jared Voss said of the Indians, who beat Joliet Catholic 4-2 in the semifinals of the WJOL/Joliet Central Area Baseball Invitational. “Even in the last inning, they were right there with a chance to tie or go ahead.”
“We didn’t want them to beat us again, so we had to get this one,” Testa said.
John Chignoli pitched the first four innings for the Hilltoppers, followed by freshman Nick Delasandro for two and Testa for the seventh.
“I’d like to get Testa some starts, too,” Voss said. “But this (seventh inning) was the best opportunity today.”
Andrew Gudac had a key single and three RBI for the Hilltoppers, who used a 10-run first inning to beat Chillicothe IVC 13-1 earlier Monday. Brock Pluth had three hits and drove in the go-ahead run in the fifth. Chris Tschida doubled and singled.
Max Brozovich had two doubles for Minooka, Alex Bebar triple and singled, Steve Wittkamp doubled and singled and Tyler Thorson doubled in a run.