Baseball: Hinsdale South pulls away from West AuroraWest Aurora pitcher Marcus Diaz fields a bunt but can't make the throw in time to get the Hinsdale South runner during their regional game at Waubonsie Valley High School on Wednesday, May 23, 2012. | Brian Powers~Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 23, 2012 8:32PM
Numbers never lie, but sometimes they don’t tell the whole story.
On the surface, Hinsdale South’s 8-0 win over West Aurora Wednesday at the Class 4A Waubonsie Valley Regional looks like an easy victory for the second-seeded Hornets. Quite the contrary, though, as South led just 2-0 after the game’s first 4½ innings before tacking on two in the fifth and four in the sixth for the game’s final tallies.
Hinsdale South, the second seed in the Romeoville Sectional, improved to 29-5 on the season and moves to Saturday’s regional title game where it will face the winner of Thursday’s game between Wheaton Warrenville South and Metea Valley. West Aurora, seeded 18th, finishes the season 12-25.
“It’s always good to move on this time of year,” South coach Paul Hoel said. “The kids played well. We got off to a slow start, we made some adjustments after their kid (West pitcher Marcus Diaz) kept us off balance early in the game.”
It was a pitcher’s duel early on as Diaz and South right-hander PJ Schuster were both working well. Through three innings it was just a 1-0 game after DJ Deolitsis lofted a solo homer over the fence in left center.
The Blackhawks had their best chance in the top of the fourth when Schuster hit both Josh Livingston and Bobby Drager with pitches and Alex Pope reached on a bunt single to load the bases with nobody out. But Schuster wiggled out of that jam without any damage.
That began a stretch where he retired the next eight hitters he faced. While he allowed baserunners in each of the last two innings, he worked out of it and improved to 9-0 on the season.
“As the game went on I felt warmer and got stronger out there,” said Schuster, who added a two-run homer in the sixth. “I didn’t overthink or overreact out there and just tried to let the kids get themselves out.”
Diaz was solid in his effort, as two of the four runs he allowed through five innings were unearned. He began to tire in the sixth and was removed in favor of Chris Hawks, but not before he struck out four and issued a single walk in his final high school game.
“It was the last game for him, he’s a senior and he is heading off to college so he let it all hang out,” West coach John Reeves said. “They are obviously a good team.”
South finished the game with 13 hits, but nine of those came in the final two innings. Deolitsis led the offense with three hits, three runs and two RBI, while Schuster had two hits and battery mate Emmanuel Morris added two hits and drove in a run.
Quintez Jones led West with two hits. Along with their threat in the fourth, the Blackhawks put runners on second and third with two outs in the second but came away empty as well. Not being able to get the big hit was something that plagued West all season.
“We had a bunch of games this year where we had guys on base where we couldn’t come up with the big hit,” Reeves said. “I think if you have some of those earlier on in the season when you get into a situation like (Wednesday) you have some confidence. If you have confidence you come through.”