Baseball: Aurora Central rallies to defeat St EdwardSt. Edward's Jacob Koehring (9) pitches during the second inning at Wing Park in Elgin, Ill., on Monday, April 30, 2012.
| Andrew A. Nelles~For Sun-Times Media |
Updated: April 30, 2012 11:12PM
In a season of tough breaks and disappointments, Aurora Central Catholic’s baseball team enjoyed a reversal of fortunes Monday against St. Edward.
The Chargers rallied from a 3-0 deficit, then took advantage of a critical throwing error in the top of the seventh inning to earn its first Suburban Christian Gold victory of the season, 4-3 at Elgin’s Wing Park.
“That’s been the story of our season,” ACC coach Eric Fulara said of hard luck. “We finally caught a bunch of breaks that went our way and we capitalized on it.”
St. Edward shortstop Antonio Domel picked up an infield grounder hit up the middle by Steve Belovich with the bases loaded and one out in the seventh and threw for home for the force. Matt Czerak, who singled to start the inning and had been at third, arrived home almost with the ball. But there was no bang-bang call for the umpire to make as the high throw pulled catcher Tighe Koehring off the plate.
“It was a close play,” Czerak said. “I couldn’t tell when he had it, but it looked like he pulled his foot.”
Czerak had the chance to score a few pitches earlier on a passed ball, but he fell in the wet infield dirt as he tried to start running, then had to return to third. He slipped slightly again as he took off for home on the infield grounder for the eventual winning run.
“It was pretty slippery,” he said. “The one was like a slip ’n slide on the passed ball.”
Czerak pulled off a daring play earlier in the inning by stealing third on the front end of a double steal with Phil Schuetz, who had reached on an error.
“Coach came out during a mound meeting and asked me if I thought I could take it and he told me I had the green light to go,” Czerak said. “He (losing pitcher Jake Koehring) had a long leg kick, so I kind of took off on his first move and luckily it paid off.”
After an infield out and an intentional walk to Sean Soris, Belovich hit the grounder up the middle for the game-winning RBI.
St. Edward had charged out to a 3-0 lead in the first against winning pitcher Mike Fidler (1-4), but after walking two and giving up an RBI single to Tighe Koehring and two-run single to Jack Tierney in that inning, he shut out the Green Wave (16-14, 6-7) and finished a complete-game, 129-pitch effort.
“I just couldn’t get control the first few innings,” Fidler said. “Then I guess I found my spot. I kind of was slowing it down. I think I was trying too hard at the beginning and then slowed it down and started hitting my spots.”
With Fidler allowing six hits, walking five, and striking out five, ACC (8-15, 1-9) set about trying to get back in the game. Fidler himself drew a bases-loaded walk off Koehring (6-3) in the second. Then he also singled in a run in the fourth. In the fifth, Matt Musoras launched a shot to right field that was misplayed for a two-base error and drove home Czerak with the tying run.
The Wave had blown a 7-0 lead against St. Francis last week. The blown 3-0 lead Monday netted a defeat for Jake Koehring despite allowing just two earned runs.
“It was almost like a repeat of St. Francis,” St. Edward coach Tim Dovichi said. “We got up big on them, 3-0, just like 7-0 against St. Francis. And then we kind of just put it on cruise control thinking our pitching is going to keep it going, but you’ve still got to hit. You’ve got to move the runners around.
“You’ve got to execute.”
For St. Edward Tighe Koehring had two hits, while Czerak and Soris each had two hits for ACC.
“The thing I love about this team and other teams we’ve had is we get down a couple runs and we’re not out of games,” Fulara said. “We’ll battle and battle and battle. Unfortunately, we just run out of innings.”
Instead, this time it was St. Edward that ran out of innings.