Baseball: Blake Kerzich, Mark DeYoung lift Plainfield Central past Joliet Central
Updated: May 21, 2012 8:48PM
Blake Kerzich singled home the go-ahead run and winning pitcher Mark DeYoung doubled home two more in a three-run fifth inning that lifted Plainfield Central past Joliet Central 5-2 Monday in the opening game of the Class 4A Minooka Regional.
The fourth-seeded Wildcats (23-12-1) advance to Wednesday’s semifinal against Minooka, which has beaten Plainfield in three of four previous meetings, including two of three last week.
“We’ve got to wait for our hitting to come. We know it will,” said DeYoung (5-1), who started at third base and relieved starter Tomas Aguilar in the fifth inning with a runner on base, nobody out and the score 2-2.
“I love to come in to pitch in situations like that,” he added.
DeYoung missed a significant portion of the season with a broken left wrist left over from basketball. In his first game back, he hyperextended a knee and missed several more games. But now he’s healthy.
“I’m hoping they don’t pitch (Josh) Jimenez Wednesday,” he said of Minooka’s ace, who has shut down the Wildcats twice. “But even if they do, we’ll hit.”
Steve Heffernan’s sacrifice bunt set up the big inning, and DeYoung delivered the crushing double on the pitch after No. 5 seed Joliet (10-25) failed to complete a near pickoff at second.
“You saw what happens when you execute the short game,” Plainfield coach John Rosner said.
In the fourth inning, Mike Bentson’s sacrifice set up Jack Schanks’ game-tying single as the Wildcats had to scratch and claw to get to Steelmen right-hander Joshua Wojnarowski “This was a microcosm of our season,” Steelmen coach Tony Juarez said.
“We play four or five solid innings and then have a bad one. That won’t get it done against a team that wins more than 20 games.
“Joshua, though, pitched very well. He’s been a guy all year we expect to get five or six quality innings from.”