Baseball: Bartlett holds off Streamwood in postseason openerBartlett's Colin Nowak delivers a pitch during Monday's regional game against Streamwood in Bartlett. | Karen Naess ~ For Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 22, 2012 12:12AM
Bartlett saw to it that Streamwood won’t be making a playoff run this year.
The 17th-seeded Sabres pushed across three runs in the top of the seventh Monday, but it wasn’t enough as the 16th-seeded Hawks hung on for a 4-3 victory on their home field in the opening game of the Class 4A Lake Park Regional.
For Streamwood (10-26), the defeat marked the final game for coach Steve Diversey, who is stepping down after five years at the helm. He guided the Sabres to a program-record 30 victories and its first sectional title in 2011, but there was no such high-flying success this spring as his team finished with five straight losses.
Meanwhile, Bartlett (17-19) moves on to the regional semifinals Wednesday against Geneva, which owns the top seed in the entire Schaumburg Sectional. The Hawks lost to the Vikings 4-3 earlier this season.
“We knew we had a challenge all day and it went down to the last out,” Bartlett coach Chris Pemberton said. “Streamwood is going to battle you and we didn’t take them lightly. I’m glad we were able to hold on at the end there.”
Bartlett scratched across a run in the bottom of the first on an RBI single from Dan Gallanis and clung to its 1-0 advantage until striking for three runs in the bottom of the fifth.
Ben Havel stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs in the fifth and delivered a two-run single up the middle. Streamwood’s Robert Sojda let the ball get by him in center for an error on the play, allowing Robert Sadowski to come around and score from first to put the Hawks ahead 4-0.
The extra run proved critical when Richie Gorski got the Sabres on the board with a two-run triple to right with one out in the top of the seventh to cut his team’s deficit to 4-2. Gorski then came home when Dalton Lundeen grounded out to first for the second out.
Brandon Larkin-Guilfoyle kept hope alive for Streamwood when he followed Lundeen’s ground out with a single, but Alex Morrow was called out on a bang-bang play at first to end the game after a good scoop and throw from Bartlett shortstop Ben Grear on a slow roller behind the mound.
“The bang-bang play always hurts, but we all know the play that really hurt,” Diversey said. “The misplayed ball in center field gave them three runs. If you take that one back I think it’s a different ball game.”
Colin Nowak’s effort on the mound is a big reason why the Hawks are moving on. The junior cruised through the first six innings before running into trouble in the seventh and giving way to Sadowski for the final two outs.
Nowak (6-2) matched a season high with 11 strikeouts. He walked three and allowed two earned runs on seven hits in 6 1/3 innings.
“My two-seamer was working a lot and I knew I had to keep it down in the zone because (Streamwood) is a good hitting team,” Nowak said. “I was working on my location a lot today.”
Gorski led the offensive charge for the Sabres by going 3-for-4 with a single, double and triple. Morrow finished 2-for-4.
Lundeen (5-3) was tagged with the loss after allowing three earned runs in six innings. The Valparaiso-bound lefty struck out six and walked three.
“It kind of describes our season with us coming up short,” Lundeen said. “But it’s always good to see the team fight in the seventh inning and show that never-say-die attitude.”
Added Diversey: “It took us to Game 36 to finally get the fight in the dog that we’ve needed all year. I’m pleased with the way we ended. Granted we didn’t win, but there’s still a lot of positives to take from this for the program to build on.”