ALGONQUIN – After throwing 107 pitches, all Reilly Peltier wanted to do was finish what he started.
The Jacobs senior ace had struck out 13 and had been afforded a one-run lead off a wind-blown error. Needing only three outs to close out what had been a hotly contested pitcher’s duel, Peltier petitioned Golden Eagles coach Jamie Murray to give him the ball one more time.
Murray was instead inclined to put the game in the hands of closer Jake Jemmi, who Murray knew could put the finishing touches on Tuesday’s 2-1 FVC Valley Division win over Huntley.
Two strikeouts and an impressive game-ending Tim Hubner sliding catch later, it proved to be the right decision.
Peltier, however, wasn’t entirely sold.
“I wanted to get out there real bad,” said Peltier, who only allowed a run and only two hits over six innings. “It was hard for me to sit down there.”
Jacobs (13-5, 7-0 FVC) scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the sixth when Matt Kozlak lifted a short fly ball into the outfield. The ball glanced off the Huntley second baseman’s glove, scoring Danny Vandewalker, who had led off the inning with a walk.
It turned out to be all the Golden Eagles – who managed only three hits off Huntley starter Eric Luecht – needed.
“I just put the bat on the ball and good things happen,” Kozlak said. “I just had to hustle it out.”
For Huntley (11-3-1, 5-1 FVC), the loss was tough to swallow given the way Luecht had kept the Red Raiders in the game throughout the day. Huntley scored its run in the top of the third when Mark Skonieczny delivered an RBI single.
Jacobs took an early 1-0 lead on Hubner’s RBI single in the home half of the second inning. Despite scratching only two hits against Peltier, Huntley had its chances, including in the sixth when it left the potential go-ahead run on third base.
“We struggled a little bit offensively today,” Huntley coach Andy Jakubowski said. “We’ll make an adjustment.”
The two teams meet again Thursday.
Peltier earned the win despite allowing leadoff walks in four of the six innings he worked. But on nearly every occasion, Peltier fought back – including in the sixth inning when he struck out the final two hitters he faced.
Jemmi stuck out two of the three batters he faced in the seventh to pick up his fourth save, finishing the job for Peltier.
“[Peltier] battled, he competed and he did a good job getting strikeouts when he needed to,” Murray said. “But we have a lot of guys who can throw – four guys that have pitched very well and Reilly is one of them. We feel confident with whoever we throw out there.”