CRYSTAL LAKE – Jordan Getzelman was thrilled with the results from the final at-bat on his home baseball field.
But the Prairie Ridge center fielder was even happier for unheralded teammate Erik Jakubosky, who was as cool under pressure on the mound Wednesday as most of this season’s weather. Jakubosky entered the game with the Wolves clinging to a one-run lead and Trojans on second and third with one out in the top of the seventh inning.
“How big was Boo-Boo there?” Getzelman said. “How big was that last pitch? You can’t do anything there but get a strikeout or an infield fly.”
Jakubosky struck out Matt Ewert and Zach Marszal, C-G’s Nos. 2 and 3 hitters, on seven pitches to preserve Prairie Ridge’s 10-9 victory in both teams’ Fox Valley Conference Valley Division finales.
Caleb Senyshyn, who had been reliable all season for the Wolves (23-9 overall, 13-6 FVC Valley), struggled in the seventh after Getzelman’s three-run homer in the sixth had given Prairie Ridge a 10-5 lead.
“It was all adrenaline,” said Jakubosky, who recorded his first save. “I was pretty excited, against Cary, crosstown rival, close game … I just reared back and threw it.”
Jakubosky got Ewert on four pitches and had Marszal at 0-2 when he missed location.
“He was supposed to be four to six inches off the plate and threw it right down Main St.,” Wolves coach Glen Pecoraro said. “But I tell you what, that ball came out of his hand pretty good. He had a little velo on that.”
The Wolves quickly mobbed their senior teammate for his quick heroics before the postgame handshake line.
It seemed that Getzelman’s ninth home run of the season, which cleared the 370-foot sign by a large margin, gave Prairie Ridge ample runs.
“I knew [C-G pitcher Andrew Brierton] had a tendency to throw a first-pitch fastball and get ahead,” Getzelman said. “I knew this possibly was my last at-bat on this field and I didn’t want to get cheated. I took my best hack and it turned out well.”
The Wolves needed every bit of Getzelman’s insurance.
“In your mind, you’re thinking the game’s over,” Pecoraro said. “You don’t want to say that to anybody, we got a nice lead and took some oxygen away from them. Caleb’s been our guy in the seventh all year. I tip my hat to [C-G]. They hit three balls to the right-center gap, they didn’t give up for a second.”
With one out, Dean Lee ripped a double to right-center, which was followed by Brierton’s two-run homer to the same spot. Two walks and a hit batsman loaded the bases and a wild pitch allowed one runner to score.
Leadoff man Jeremy Vasquez then hit another shot to right-center to score Patrick Serowka, but Dean Christakes, the runner at second, did not see the ball and hesitated. He was stopped at third base on Vasquez’s double.
“When you see the outfielders’ backs, you need to go halfway,” Trojans coach Don Sutherland said. “I’m not blaming Dean. You have Nos. 2 and 3 coming up, you don’t want more than that. We’re just not playing good baseball at this point.”