Baseball: Jake Herron pitches Joliet West past LockportJoliet West's #28 Anthony Dinardo drives in the winning run in the bottom of the 7th inning vs Lockport held at home and West won 2-1 on Tuesday, April 17, 2012. | Larry Kane~For Sun-Times Media
Junior right-hander Jake Herron breathed a sigh of relief when Anthony DiNardo’s one-out ground ball slipped under the second baseman’s glove, allowing Kyle Chavez to score the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning Tuesday as Joliet West escaped SouthWest Suburban blue foe Lockport 2-1.
Herron (3-3), who nursed a 1-0 lead until Dan Sullivan’s sacrifice fly tied it in the top of the seventh, has been in an offensively challenged boat all season.
“The scores of games I’ve pitched were 2-0, 2-1, 2-1, 1-0, 3-1 and 2-1,” he said, smiling. “But that’s OK. The guys came through when it was big. That’s what matters.”
“Jake’s pretty good,” Tigers coach John Karczewski said. “He’d be 6-0 with any kind of offensive support. We had opportunities, like in the first when we had a man on second and nobody out and didn’t score.”
West (10-9, 3-1) grabbed a 1-0 lead in the second when Wes Ahearn led off with an infield single and eventually scored on a close play after Lockport center fielder Austin Mastela made a diving catch of Alex Wesner’s sacrifice fly.
Lockport (9-7, 1-2) had chances in the first, second and sixth and could have scored more in the seventh. But Herron, who threw 117 pitches, met the challenge.
“Tip your cap to Jake,” Porters coach Andy Satunas said. “He was ahead of hitters and we struck out too many times (12). The toughest thing is to have a chance against a pitcher like him. I wish we could have battled more in some at-bats when we had chances.”
“They saw everything I had, and by the third time through they were getting the bat on the ball more,” Herron said. “This was huge, beating one of the favorites in the conference.”
Connor Ryan suffered the loss.