CRYSTAL LAKE – In a baseball game that had two lead changes, two ties and a few clutch hits, neither team, Jacobs nor Crystal Lake Central, could pull ahead for good.
Tuesday’s Fox Valley Conference crossover game was suspended because of darkness with the teams tied, 5-5, after nine innings of back-and-forth baseball.
“When we were down 3-0, I knew that we needed to find a way to manufacture some runs,” Central coach Dan Badgley said. “We weren’t hitting real well at that point and we tried to build a little momentum with some steals and bunts.”
Central (3-3 overall, 0-2 FVC Fox) fought its way back throughout the game from an early hole as the Golden Eagles scored three runs in the top of the first inning. It wasn’t until the Tigers scored a run in the fifth that they got on the board. In the sixth, they scored two to tie it, 3-3.
“I was telling the guys that we need to keep pushing and pushing,” Jacobs coach Jamie Murray said. “We need to do a better job of taking advantage of some situations.”
The Golden Eagles (8-1, 1-0 FVC Valley) didn’t add to their three runs until the eighth inning, and it was then when it seemed as if Jacobs third baseman Jon Berndt would be the game’s hero after doubling in the go-ahead runs for a 5-3 lead.
But Central catcher Colin Telmanik had a big game, going 3 for 4, including his biggest hit, a no-out two-run double that tied the score in the bottom of the eighth.
“I was just looking to put the ball in play to the right side,” Telmanik said. “We had two guys on and I got a good pitch and it worked out. I gapped it and I knew those guys would score.”
The Tigers then tried a bases-loaded squeeze bunt, but the batter missed on a high pitch and the runner was tagged out with nowhere to go. A flyout ended the inning.
“That’s been the biggest problem with our team so far,” Telmanik said of playing from behind. “We showed a lot of character tonight and we got it going, especially when we were down 5-3.”
Badgley was also impressed with his team’s resolve after giving up two runs in the eighth.
“You get those momentum swings in high school sports, and for the kids to come back and score two runs like that was very big,” he said. “I’m real happy with these guys today.”
The game will be completed at a date not yet decided. It will still be a home game for the Tigers, and the game will restart where it left off. FVC crossover games count in the standings.
“We can go to 100 innings,” Badgley said with a laugh. “It’s a conference game, so we have to finish it. We’ll play a JV game afterwards to make it worth the trip for Jacobs.”