Baseball: Naperville North’s rally sinks West AuroraNaperville North first baseman Alex Moss celebrates the final out of a come from behind victory over West Aurora on Wednesday, May 02, 2012. | Donnell Collins~For Sun-Times Media
When you’re a team on a roll, you find ways to win games.
Naperville North’s baseball team has been playing very well of late, but fell behind by three runs early on the road against West Aurora in DuPage Valley Conference play Wednesday.
But the Huskies rallied late, pitcher Kevin Walsh settled in after a rough start and North posted a 4-3 win.
Alex Moss singled in Mariano Long with the game-winner in the top of the seventh to give North the victory and hand West Aurora a heartbreaking loss.
“We’ve been playing well the past couple of weeks, so we were confident that we’d be able to put some runs on the board against (West starter Ottavio Dattolo),” Walsh said. “We were able to follow through at the end. It was later than we’d like, but we got it. We’re pretty confident right now.”
Early on, West Aurora (7-16, 3-8) got to Walsh (5-0). Alex Pope’s two-run single on a pop fly that harmlessly fell in the dirt between first and second base gave the Blackhawks a 2-0 lead. Jonathan Acton’s solo home run in the second pushed the lead to 3-0.
“After the second inning when I gave up the home run, I settled in and got a little more focused, kept the ball low,” Walsh said.
West had its chances. The Blackhawks had two on with one out in the third and had the bases loaded with no outs in the fifth, but both innings were wiped out with a double play, keeping the Huskies (13-11, 7-4) in the game.
“We had an opportunity there with the bases loaded and nobody out,” West coach John Reeves said. “I think that was the turning point in the game. If we score a couple of runs there, we kind of slam the door shut. Instead, they get out of that with a double play and they come back and tie the game right away.”
Dattolo pitched well for West, but it was defensive miscues that got North on the board in the sixth. Conner Adamski singled in Moss and then two errors allowed the tying runs to score. That set up Moss’ heroics in the seventh.
“All the credit goes to Kevin,” North coach Carl Hunckler said. “It’s nice that the kids came back, but he picked them up. It’s always nice to win these type of games because of the fact your kids feel better about themselves.”
It was a crushing blow to West Aurora, who has two more with Naperville North and a doubleheader with Wheaton North Saturday as part of a busy week.
“It’s kind of the way it’s been,” Reeves said. “You make two errors, and they capitalize on both of them. It’s frustrating when you get a nice, solid outing like that (from Dattolo) and that’s what happens. It’s disappointing.”