Baseball: St Charles East nets share of Upstate Eight River title
Updated: May 16, 2012 10:12PM
St. Charles East pulled out a 3-2 victory over rival St. Charles North on Wednesday, earning at least a share of the Upstate Eight River title.
The teams entered play tied atop the River standings, and the victory snapped a three-game losing streak for the Saints. That makes the three game series 1-1 after the North Stars pulled out a 7-4 victory Tuesday.
It was a tight game from the start, and the visiting Saints (20-9, 18-6) plated the winning run in the top of the sixth when Anthony Sciarrino hit a slow roller to the left side with two outs and legged it out, scoring pinch-runner Sean Dunne.
Dunne was running for Tommy Wilson, who reached on an error with one out in the inning when his fly ball to right field was dropped. Dunne then stole second base and advanced to third on a Tony DeFilippis groundout.
Following the sharp ground out, North starter Carl Formento (4-2) was lifted for reliever Collin Peterson and Sciarrino jumped on the first pitch he saw from the reliever.
“It felt good to finally get a hit, I’ve been struggling lately so I just wanted to get the ball in play,” Sciarrino said. “I figured he would come first pitch fastball and I hit it on the ground and managed to beat it out.”
Errors plagued the North Stars (23-11, 17-7) all game long, as they committed five miscues in the contest. That led to two unearned runs and spoiled a very good start by Formento, who went 5 2/3 innings and allowed just four hits and one earned run.
“You can’t make five errors against anyone, but especially when you’re playing for a conference championship against a quality opponent. You just can’t do it and expect to win,” said North coach Todd Genke. “(Carl) has been one of our horses all year and when your pitcher goes out and gives up one earned run in six innings you have to be happy with that, he just got snake bit by those errors.”
The Saints got a terrific pitching performance of their own from junior Nick Huskisson (4-3), who went the distance, allowing five hits and one earned run while striking out seven to pick up the victory.
“It feels great to win conference, and this was one of the biggest starts of my life,” Huskisson said. “On a three-game skid I knew it was important to respond well and it feels great to get the victory.”
Added Saints coach Len Asquini: “(Nick) really battled, had some tough situations with bases loaded not outs and some lead-off walks but he got out of them, and he did a really, really nice job all day and finished strong.”
North had a chance to break the game open in the second inning, as Erik Nelson (two runs) was hit by a pitch to lead things off and Formento and Adam Delisi followed with singles to load the bases with no one out for Kyle Barbeau, who lifted a sacrifice fly to left field, scoring the game’s first run.
However, on the play Formento ran himself into an out between second and third for the second out of the inning. Brandon Drawant followed that with a single, but Delisi got caught rounding second base too far for the third out.
The Saints tied it in the top of the third, when they cashed in on three straight two-out errors by the North Stars, but North quickly took the lead back in the bottom of the inning when catcher Joe Hoscheit airmailed a throw into left field trying to pick Nelson off of third.
Hoscheit was quick to redeem himself though, as he crushed an RBI double in the top of the fifth, scoring Nicholas Erickson and pulling things to 2-2, setting things up for Sciarrino in the sixth.
The teams will close out the series at 7 p.m. Thursday at Geneva’s Fifth Third Bank Park, home of the Kane County Cougars.