CRYSTAL LAKE – During a pitching duel, the tide turns on one big hit. That big hit Saturday came from Prairie Ridge designated hitter Marcus Sargeant as he smacked an RBI single up the middle in the bottom of the sixth inning to knock in Carson Getzelman with the go-around run as the Wolves defeated Woodstock, 2-1, in Fox Valley Conference crossover action.
The two teams each had only three hits for the game.
Prairie Ridge (2-6, 1-0) got on the board in the first inning after Getzelman led off with a single, stole second, advanced to third on a groundout and scored when Alex Ferguson’s pitch was in the dirt and got past catcher Eric Bell.
The Blue Streaks (2-2, 0-2) finally got to Prairie Ridge starter Ben Cilano in the sixth on an RBI groundout by Bell that scored Austin Butts, who hit a one-out double and advanced to third on a passed ball.
In the bottom of the inning, Getzelman led off with another single. He moved to second on a sacrifice by Daniel Pecoraro and advanced to third on a groundout by Austin Covers. Sargeant then came up with the dramatic base hit to put the Wolves back on top. Sargeant said that he wasn’t looking for a certain pitch in the critical situation.
“I was just trying to put the ball in play and give us a chance to score, obviously, with the runner at third,” Sargeant said.
Cilano then took care of business in the seventh, working around a leadoff double by Zach Kammin to strike out the side to end the game. Cilano finished with 12 strikeouts to finish with a complete-game victory and wasn’t aware of that fact until after the game.
“I didn’t even know I had 12 strikeouts,” Cilano said. “I’m just happy that Marcus came in with the big hit and then we were able to close it out in the last inning.”
Prairie Ridge coach Glen Pecoraro had a simple, fundamental plan after Getzelman got on to lead off the sixth.
“Marcus came through for us,” Pecoraro said. “When Getzelman got on, obviously we wanted to bunt him over to get to our Nos. 3 and 4 guys with Covers and Sarge and I thought one of those guys would come through for us. It worked out and Marcus put a good swing on a curveball."
Ferguson was the hard-luck loser for the Blue Streaks, striking out five while pitching a complete game. Woodstock coach John Oliveira said he was pleased with the number of chances his team had to score off Cilano.
“Close games are fun to play regardless if you won or lost,” Oliveira said. “I’m proud of my kids, how we played defense and we gave ourselves opportunities to put runs on the board, but couldn’t come through in the clutch.”