Baseball: Grayslake Central’s Mark Ash one-hits Vernon HillsGRAYSLAKE Tuesday May 29 2012
Grayslake Central's team cheer on Matt Loefl (4) as he crosses home plate. | Michelle LaVigne~Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 2, 2012 8:23PM
Mark Ash surrendered one fourth inning walk and one sixth inning single in Saturday’s sectional title game at home in Central’s 4-0 victory over Vernon Hills.
The Rams (30-9) will head to the North Central Super Sectional on Monday. Ash took his no-hitter to the sixth inning before Vernon Hills leadoff man MJ Crowley singled to left field.
“I was upset to lose the no-hitter,’’ Ash said. “I threw a fastball on an 0-2 count. But this game was huge. I threw to their weaknesses.”
While Ash flirted with history, his offense checked in with three runs in the opening frame. Both Kristian Meehan and Sean Boban delivered two-out hits off losing pitcher Pat Crowley.
“He hung a curve ball to me,’’ Boban said. “I knew he would throw something off speed.”
Boban would drive home the game’s final run on another two-out hit in the third inning.
“We’ve got a mojo about us,’’ Boban said. “No one is feeling our season is over so we are just looking forward to the next game.”
That quick three run cushion put Ash in a good position.
“He was on,’’ Vernon Hills coach Jay Czarnecki of Ash said. “Their defense made the plays and the wind was blowing in. Give Ash credit. A lot had to do with him.”
Vernon Hills (30-9) had leadoff hitter MJ Crowley reach second base twice. He was credited with breaking up the perfect game with the walk in the fourth and the single in the sixth.
“We faced Ash earlier in the season,’’ Crowley said. “Today, he had us hitting fly balls.”
The senior Crowley relieved his younger brother in the bottom of the fourth and kept the Rams off the scoreboard despite a leadoff double by Jon Gurchak in the fifth inning. Crowley also worked out of a bases loaded jam in the sixth. The Rams had at least one base runner in every inning.
For Central, the good fortune in the post-season continued with this win. Central coach Troy Whalen noted his team has won three out four sectional titles since the 2006 season. He also credited the work of his winning pitcher.
“The key for Mark was that he was getting ahead of the count,’’ Whalen said.
“Vernon Hills is a very good hitting team but they were having some defensive swings.”
Central leadoff hitter Nick Hosford reached base three times. Gurchak had that double and a bunt single. Meehan singled in a run and walked.