Baseball: South Elgin’s clutch hitting beats Waubonsie Valley
Updated: April 24, 2012 10:00PM
As it has done all season, South Elgin made a habit of coming through in the clutch on Tuesday.
The Storm scored five runs with two outs and starter David Palmer consistently pitched his way out of trouble as South Elgin improved to 14-3 overall and 11-2 in the Upstate Eight Valley with a 9-1 win over visiting Waubonsie Valley (6-11, 2-5).
The Storm’s best clutch hitting came in the third inning when Palmer, Chris Bingham and Nevan Jeske ripped three consecutive two-out RBI doubles to open a 5-1 lead.
“Putting the ball in play and getting hits with two outs is something we have been able to do consistently all year,” said South Elgin coach Jim Kating. “And it’s not just one or two guys. It’s up and down the lineup. That’s the mark of good team when you can come through in those crucial situations in a game. It not only produces runs it also builds momentum in your favor.”
While the offense was doing its part Palmer was working his way out of tight spots in nearly every inning. In his 5 2/3 innings Palmer (4-2) yielded 12 baserunners, but only allowed one run. He left two runners stranded in the second, third, fourth and fifth innings.
“He’s a bulldog out there,” said Kating. “He got in some tough spots but he battled his way through. One of the main reasons we brought him up early last year was his competitiveness and he has just continued to improve.”
Palmer allowed seven hits and walked four. However, he fanned eight batters was able to come up with the big strikeouts when he needed it most. He worked out of a first-and-third, one-out jam in the second inning by striking out the final two batters to end the threat. Again in the fourth and fifth innings he was able to escape and leave two runners stranded each time by striking out the final batter.
“I needed to throw more strikes,” said Palmer. “I got myself into some jams and had to throw a lot of pitches. They were battling so I had to battle back. I just tried to mix it up and I was able to come up with the big pitches when I needed them.”
South Egin opened the scoring with a two-out RBI single from Jake Buhman in the first. The Storm added a run in the second when Nicholas Binder delivered an RBI single. After scoring three runs in the third, South Elgin added another unearned run in the fourth and three more in the fifth. Jeske added his second RBI double of the game in the inning and Binder followed with his second RBI single. Michael Murphy added a sac fly.
Waubonsie’s lone run came in the third inning when Austin Dixon led off the inning with a single and later scored on a fielder’s choice by Tyler Josupait. Warriors starter Mitch Stefani took the loss.
“The game came down to not being able to move some of those runners early on, “ said Waubonsie coach Dan Fezzuoglio. “We hit the ball pretty well and had some chances to score runs and didn’t do it. That’s been our Achilles heel pretty much all season.”