Baseball: Yorkville cruises past Morris
Updated: May 24, 2012 10:22PM
It took two games and 14 innings, but Morris finally managed a run against Yorkville lefty Brett Assell.
That wasn’t nearly enough as the Foxes cruised to a 7-1 victory Thursday and advanced to the championship of their own Class 3A baseball regional. Yorkville (24-11-1) gets a chance to avenge a 3-2, nine-inning regular-season loss to Ottawa when the two teams from opposite Northern Illinois Big 12 Conference divisions meet at 11 a.m. Saturday.
Having swept a three-game league series from Morris (16-19-1), Assell got Yorkville out of a few predicaments in tossing a five-hit complete game in which he stranded nine Redskins. It was an encore to an earlier one-hit, 10-0 triumph over Morris.
“It’s always harder to beat a team the more you play them because teams get better and they learn your tendencies,” said Assell, who improved to 8-2. “At the same time, I checked our charts on them and I was pumped. I got a little tired at the end, but I wanted to go all the way and I just hoped my mind would push me enough that my body would follow.”
“The pitch count got a little higher than we like, but he earned and deserved this win,” Yorkville coach Scott Luken said. “He’s like a machine and we feel very confident with him and our defense supports him. His effort today keeps our bullpen intact for Saturday.”
Yorkville took the lead in the bottom of the third after Mitch Prickett drew a leadoff walk, took second on a throwing error and then raced home from second on Ryan May’s RBI groundout. The Foxes then methodically manufactured two runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth thanks to contributions from throughout the batting order.
“We always strive for a team effort so I’m just glad to have done my part,” Prickett said. “Now we just have to come ready to play Saturday and we not only want the regional title, but we want to beat them bad.”
“It will be an opportunity to get back at them,” Luken said. “But it’s all about playing smart and taking care of business. Today we used a couple walks, a few wild pitches (seven by Morris pitchers), a sac bunt to build a lead. Once we did that, it was easy to keep that strategy going in order to keep getting more runs.”