Baseball: Josh Jimenez pitches Minooka past Plainfield Central
Updated: May 15, 2012 7:59PM
Before this season, Minooka senior left-hander Josh Jimenez had not fared well against Plainfield Central.
The tables have turned. After beating the Wildcats 2-1 in the WJOL Tournament early in the season, Jimenez breezed through a three-hit shutout Tuesday as the Indians won the opener, 1-0, of the final three-game Southwest Prairie Conference series of the season.
“In past years Plainfield Central had my number, so it feels good to have two good ones against them this year,” said Jimenez (8-2), who may face the Wildcats one more time, in next week’s Class 4A Minooka Regional semifinals.
“We haven’t had a lot of success against him; I hope we get another chance next week,” Central coach John Rosner said. “Pitching wins games. He was ahead of us all day, and we never were able to get any real threats.”
“It will be tough to beat them three times, but that’s the way it may be,” Jimenez said. “They’re a great team.”
Minooka (21-11, 13-6) scored the only run it needed off junior left-hander Tomas Aguilar (6-4) when Carson Neushwander singled home Tyler Thorson (two hits) in the bottom of the first.
Central (20-12-1, 10-9), which never had more than one baserunner in an inning, had only two reach second base and stranded four, saw its five-game winning streak snapped and no longer can finish second behind SPC champ Plainfield North. But the No. 5 Wildcats have been hot, and as Rosner noted, “This is our school’s first winning season since 1999. We’re heading in the right direction.”
That, Minooka coach Jeff Petrovic noted, is important right now.
“You have to build momentum going to the postseason,” he said. “We need to win this week for our own psyche.
“Last week (in a tough three-game series against North, where the Indians lost twice in the bottom of the seventh inning), we found ways to lose. Today, we found a way to win. Josh pitched phenomenal and our defense was excellent.”