Baseball: Crystal Lake South fights off Jacobs for title
By Gene Chamberlain For Sun-Times Media May 26, 2012 9:02PM
Updated: May 28, 2012 10:28PM
Even when Crystal Lake South pitcher Jordan Van Dyck was cruising with a 3-0 lead after six innings, it probably shouldn’t have been surprising when Jacobs found a way to get within a run in Saturday’s championship game of the Huntley Class 4A Regional.
After all, the Golden Eagles made a career of one-run games this year with an even dozen in their 36-game schedule.
Van Dyck, though, reached back for something extra after the Golden Eagles got a monstrous two-run homer to left from Connor Conzelman and placed the tying run into scoring position, and he got the final two outs for a 3-2 win that put Gators in the Class 4A McHenry Class 4A Sectional at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday against Grant.
“We made it interesting there at the end,” Crystal Lake South coach Brian Bogoda said. “I kind of expected it be a tight game. Jacobs had a great year all around and they’re a well-coached team.”
Van Dyck (10-1) struck out nine total and allowed only one hit going into the seventh. After the home run, a single by Greg Sodor and a sacrifice bunt, Van Dyck struck out Zac Camacho and got Tim Mahoney on a hard-hit grounder to third to win the game.
“Conzelman is a great hitter,” Van Dyck said. “He made me pay on that pitch. He put it over the trees. I just tried to keep my composure and throw strikes and hit spots.
“I had confidence in my defense and myself that I could come back and throw strikes.’
Meanwhile, the Gators (28-9) struggled offensively against Jacobs starter Evan Blunk (6-3) until catcher Don Winiecki belted out a homer to right-center leading off the fourth inning.
“I don’t know if that goes out if the wind is blowing in,” Winiecki said. “It was definitely a big momentum changer, which is what we needed in a game like this.”
Jacobs would have survived that shot, but the two runs allowed in the fifth proved season-enders.
Tyler Salm doubled to right-center to drive in Jake Bigos, who had walked. Then Winiecki got hit an infield grounder off Eagles reliever Nick Ledinsky to the right side for an infield single. The throw to first was late, as well as wide, and the error gave the Gators the third run they would eventually need.
“Evan, I saw him tiring before that,” Jacobs coach Jamie Murray said. “He’s been a horse for us all year.
“That third run proved to be the difference.”
Winiecki went 2-for-3 but the Gators were shut down by Blunk, who allowed four hits in 4 1/3 innings, and Ledinsky, who struck out two and walked one while allowing two hits in 1 2/3 innings.
Greg Sidor had two hits for Jacobs, and produced the Golden Eagles’ only scoring threat until the seventh by singling, moving up on a sacrifice and advancing to third on an errant pickoff attempt. But Van Dyck seized control back by striking out Camacho and Ledinsky.
“It was kind of symbolic of this entire year,” Murray said. “I think that was our seventh or eighth one-run loss. We didn’t go down without a fight.”