Baseball: Aurora Central’s fourth inning keys win
Updated: May 17, 2012 11:40PM
You need to make the most of every scoring opportunity — especially in regional baseball.
That sentiment was echoed by Aurora Central Catholic coach Eric Fulara as his third-seeded Chargers parlayed a seven-run fourth inning coupled with timely pitching and defense into a 13-1, six-inning victory over second-seed Coal City in the semifinals of the Class 2A Seneca Regional Thursday night.
ACC’s Andrew Bruss (6 IP, seven hits, three strikeouts, three walks) improved to 5-1 on the season. Bruss’ performance was impressive after recently rejoining the team from a broken hand less than a week ago.
“We capitalized on a lot of their mistakes,” Fulara said. “I got scared there in the first inning when they had the bases loaded, but (Andrew) Bruss pitched a top-notch game for us.”
Coal City (24-12) grabbed a lead 1-0 in the first inning when Brandon Tidaback scored on Austin McLuckie’s fielder’s choice. The Coalers squandered a chance to tack on any additional runs, which seemed to be a foreshadowing of things to come.
“I didn’t have my best stuff today but I was able to work out of stuff,” Bruss said.
ACC (15-17) tied the game at 1-1 in their half of the third inning when Matt Czerak doubled home Andrew Salapatek, who had earlier walked and stole second base.
ACC then took command of the game in the fourth when they sent 11 batters to the plate and forced Coal City starting pitcher Brandon Wills out of the game.
Phil Schuetz singled to leadoff the inning and later scored on an RBI single by Kevin Bond for a 2-1 ACC lead. Jake McCarthy was hit by a pitch that scored Sean Soris, and Wills then balked Steve Belovich home for a 4-1 lead.
Salapatek’s ensuing fielder’s choice scored McCarthy. Consecutive fielding errors by the Coalers allowed Salapatek and later Czerak to score for a 7-1 lead. Schuetz’s RBI single then plated Matt Musuras for an 8-1 lead.
ACC tacked on five more runs in the sixth as an exclamation point.
“We had our chances early and we are a good ballclub, we just didn’t show it today,” Coal City coach Jerry McDowell said.