Baseball: Plainfield South breaks through in sixth against Minooka
Updated: April 11, 2012 8:07PM
Minooka senior right-hander Kevin Ruff pitched about as well as possible Wednesday afternoon.
Included among his eight strikeouts through five shutout innings was getting Plainfield South shortstop Rick Salazar looking twice.
But when Salazar hit in the bottom of the sixth inning with two on and two out, he worked the count to a favorable 3-1, then lined a low fastball into left field to drive in the game’s first run. John Smith followed with an RBI single and South senior right-hander Julian Clouse was rewarded with a 2-0 Southwest Prairie victory.
“I knew I went down the two other times,” Salazar said. “I just tried to swing hard and hit it.”
Clouse, who made the big pitches to escape several jams, threw 111 pitches and exited on the second batter of the seventh inning. Enrique Perez finished.
“It started to get away from me in the seventh,” said Clouse, who made good use of his biting curve ball. “Knowing we lost the first game of the series (6-2 Tuesday at Minooka), we had to come out strong. This one was definitely big.”
“It was a great high school baseball game to watch,” Cougars coach Phil Bodine said. “Two kids really pitched well. They had chances early and did not take advantage, Clouse got out of jams and we finally swung the bat in the sixth inning.”
“Kevin [Ruff] threw really, really well,” Minooka coach Jeff Petrovic said. “It’s unfortunate two walks in the sixth came in to score. He deserved better.
“It’s frustrating because we didn’t play poorly at all. We just did not get timely hits.”
Trevor Henderson the only two hits for Plainfield South (8-4, 4-1) until Salazar and Smith delivered in the sixth. Minooka (9-7, 3-2), which finished with three hits — two by Carson Neushwander — had four batters hit by a pitch but stranded nine runners.