Baseball: Metea Valley takes two from Waubonsie ValleyThe Metea Valley Mustangs swarm Michael Mooney (6) after his walk off single in the bottom of the 13th inning to beat Waubonsie Valley in Aurora on Saturday, May 5, 2012. | Mike Mantucca ~ For Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 5, 2012 8:48PM
Saturday’s Upstate Eight Valley doubleheader between rivals Metea Valley and Waubonsie Valley came down to two key innings, the 12th inning of Game 1 and the fifth inning of Game 2.
Metea took advantage in both situations, earning a doubleheader sweep. The Mustangs won a thrilling first game 1-0 when Michael Mooney singled in Ryan Solomon in the bottom of the 12th inning. They then used a five-run fifth inning in game two to erase an early 3-0 deficit and post a 5-3 win in the second game.
“You come off that first game, you hope you have the momentum,” Metea coach Craig Tomczak said. “We came out in the second game and Billy (Sheeran) was throwing well. I had a feeling if we kept it to three, we might have a chance late.”
Waubonsie (10-14, 7-9) took the 3-0 lead in game two after James Palasz singled and scored on two errors in the second and Zac Steele and Austin Dixon delivered RBI singles from the numbers eight and nine spots in the lineup in the fourth off of Sheeran (7-1).
Waubonsie starter Ryan Vasicek (1-2) was just as solid as Sheeran before one big mistake by his defense let the Mustangs (13-13, 9-11) back into the game. The Mustangs had two on with two out in the fifth, but Andrew Fox delivered and RBI single and Sheeren walked to load the bases, down 3-1. Kenny Obendorf’s blast to center was misplayed into a three-base error to give Metea a 4-3 lead. Solomon then singled in Obendorf with the insurance run.
“We were in a position to win and Ryan was throwing well,” Waubonsie coach Dan Fezzuoglio said. “You have to keep working because innings like that can just happen and turn the whole game around. The next thing you know, you lose two games.”
Waubonsie’s Mitch Stefani and Metea’s Tom Bolle locked into a classic pitcher’s duel in the first game. Neither factored in the decision, but Bolle tossed 11 scoreless innings on 117 pitches, striking out nine and walking none while scattering two hits. Stefani went eight scoreless with eight strikeouts, two walks and two hits allowed. No runner reached third base for either team in that time.
“I just keep telling the guys that you have to tip your hat to Mitch and Tom,” Tomczak said. “They pitched great. Both pitchers were outstanding. We can talk about hitting on both sides the first game, but I think it’s because of them. They were great.”
Both coaches knew that it was going to take something off the wall to finally end the first game, and it did. Waubonsie reliever C.J. Lee struck out the side in the 12th, but Solomon and Will Doiron each reached base on dropped third strikes. That set up Mooney’s game-winning single on an 0-2 count to give the Mustangs the emotional win.
“Even with all of the wacky stuff that happened that inning, Michael Mooney comes up with the infield drawn in and finds his pitch with two strikes and hits a line drive,” Tomczak said. “That’s the break we’ve been looking for. We haven’t had a ton of breaks. Hopefully this will get us going in the right direction.”