Baseball: St. Charles knocks off Elgin in wild one
By Gene Chamberlain For Sun-Times Media July 20, 2012 9:30AM
Updated: November 30, 2012 10:23AM
The wild sideshows couldn’t overshadow the fact Elgin Post 57 and St. Charles Post 342 engaged in a classic battle on the field late Thursday night that resulted in a St. Charles 5-4 victory in the double elimination District 11 tournament in Carol Stream.
But they almost did.
Elgin third base coach Jason Richardson got ejected for bumping an umpire.
A St. Charles player made an obscene gesture while in the batter’s box at an unruly Elgin fan.
Two St. Charles players engaged in shoving incidents after tags by Elgin catcher Bryan Cynova.
Several Elgin players refused to shake hands at game’s end, which sparked more trash talking between teams.
Fans from both sides exchanged insults and were still engaging in verbal sparring long afterward, while some parents blamed the Wheaton Post 76 officials running the tournament.
“I’ve been coaching for 15 years and it’s always like this between Elgin and St. Charles it seems,” St. Charles manager Dale Wilderspin said. “They have a great team and we have a great team. There’s a lot of competitiveness and it needs to be channeled right.”
A two-run, bases-loaded double to left-center by St. Charles’ Carl Formento off Elgin reliever Tyler Crater in the bottom of the fifth inning broke a 3-3 tie and stood for the game-winning hit.
“We seemed to get caught up in their style of play and get taken out of our game,” Elgin manager Bob Todd said. “We have to play our game and not let anything else affect us.”
Elgin (21-12) dropped into a losers bracket game at 7:30 p.m. Friday against Lake in the Hills, which forfeited its tournament opener Thursday to Wheaton because it was a player short with a big chunk of its roster playing for Jacobs and winning a regional IHSA summer ball title earlier in the day.
For the second time in less than two weeks, St. Charles’ Jake Johansmeier shut down Post 57 for the win but this time it was a case where Wilderspin would rather not have used him. The Eastern Illinois-bound pitcher had to come on in relief of Luke Ludke after Elgin had taken a 2-0 lead, fallen behind 3-2, and then rallied to tie it at 3-3 in the fifth. A pair of errors sandwiched around a Nevan Jeske single tied it for Elgin at 3-3.
Johansmeier came on with two on and struck out Cynova, but Collin Peterson’s error at second let the tying run come home. Johansmeier then pitched out of the jam, but Elgin got to him for a run in the sixth on Ryan Ford’s RBI single, scoring Mike Murphy, who had made it to first on a fielders choice and moved up on a balk. However Johansmeier got Jeske on a grounder to first for the last out.
Elgin put the tying run in scoring position in the ninth when Murphy was hit by a pitch and sacrificed to second, but Jeske popped out and Johansmeier struck out Cynova to end the game and put top-seeded St. Charles in a winners bracket matchup against second-seeded Wheaton on Saturday at 1:30.
Johansmeier struck out five and allowed two hits in five innings.
“Jake had a great effort, as everyone here did tonight, but we were without a big chunk of the heart of our batting order tonight because they failed to show up for whatever reason,” Wilderspin said. “They let down what could really be what I think is potentially a great team.”
Jeske tripled to start the game and scored on Cynova’s ground out to give Post 57 a lead, and it got to 2-0 in the fourth when Tyler Crater and Andrew Weedman started the inning with singles against Ludke, then Dan Grzywa hit an RBI single.
Elgin ran itself out of that inning when David Palmer was out trying to steal third at the front end of a double steal. Post 57 also lost another chance when Luke Duffy was out at the plate trying to score on a ground ball in the sixth after tripling off Johansmeier.
St. Charles (19-8) rebounded from the 2-0 deficit with a three-run fourth off starting pitcher Luke Duffy. Formento, who went 3-for-4, singled in a run and Peterson doubled one home. Clayton Schmidt had an RBI single. But two errors in the inning -- the first two Elgin made in the tourney -- opened the way for the big inning.
“We shot ourselves in the foot tonight,” Todd said.
Duffy gave up one earned run in 3 2/3 innings before Crater finished the last 4 1/3 innings for Elgin, striking out four and allowing four hits. Duffy gave up six hits.