Wildcats win in dramatic style in a match up against Streamwood.

With a tie game in the top of the ninth, senior Tyler Heath delivers for the Cats
Starting pitcher Brandon R. Heath delivering a pitch in the bottom of the third inning
Starting pitcher Brandon R. Heath delivering a pitch in the bottom of the third inning
Photo by Carlos Allen

On Wednesday, April 15, the West Chicago Wildcats take on the Streamwood Sabers, who are leading the Upstate Eight with a 4-0 conference record.

The Wildcats are coming off a series win against Glenbard South, which can be read about in a prior article.

The Sabers are coming into the game off a 21-6 win against the Fenton Bison on Saturday, April 13th. During Saturday’s game, senior Chris Cole went 3/5 with two triples and a double to top off his week with a batting average of .643.

Duel-threat player Austin Paskewic started on the bump for the Sabers, but West Chicago started their own duel-threat player Brandon R. Heath on the mound.

With the game underway, B. Heath only needed to see one pitch to put the bat on the ball, leading to a pullside single through the 5-6 hole. B.Heath would end up at second after a wild pickoff move from Paskewic. Rafa Herrera would strike out for the first out of the game after the strikeout, Tyler Heath would settle himself in the left-handed batter’s box and would deliver for the Wildcats as he hit a single that brought in his brother for the first run of the game and the only run of the inning after Heath getting picked off at second and Kyler Campbell lining out to center.

Senior Tyler Heath at the plate during his first plate appearance (Photo by Carlos Allen)

The Sabers would get off to the same start with a single to left field by Paskewic. Josh Zamora would pinch-run for Paskewic. Zamora got thrown out at second by Campbell after attempting to steal. The hit by Paskewic would be the only noise made by the Sabers in the first inning.

In the top of the second inning, junior Tommy Doyle would light the wick by hitting an opposite-field double that one-hopped the wall. Senior Dominic Cicero would get walked to put runners on first and second. Cicero and Doyle would eventually score on a bloop single by Zack Kreitzer that stretched the Wildcats’ lead to 3-0. The top half of the inning would end on a strikeout by Tyler Heath with the bases loaded.

Levi Brockway would have the only hit for Streamwood in the bottom of the second and wouldn’t score after strikeouts by Riley Nosek and Phil Zarcone.

West Chicago’s half of the third inning didn’t last long, even though it started with a single by Campbell. Following the single, both Doyle and Cicero hit hard liners, but right at Antonio Alanis in center field. Zach Williamson would ground out to Isaiah Shafi at second to end the top of the third inning.

In the bottom of the third, the Sabers would put up their first runs of the game. Paskewic would start the inning with a single. Miguel Rodriguez would match Paskewic with a single of his own to put runners on first and second with no outs for Alanis. Alanis would rise to the occasion for the Sabers by hitting a double that scored Zamora and Rodriguez. Alanis’s RBIs would be the only runs for the Sabers in the inning to put the score at 3-2 still in favor of the Wildcats.

The fourth and fifth innings would be scoreless for both teams.

The scoring will pick back up in the top of the sixth when Williamson hits an opposite-field double and scores off a single from the bat of Royal Day to widen the lead for West Chicago.

Zach Williamson standing on second base after his double (Photo by Carlos Allen)

The lead wouldn’t last much longer as the Sabers stepped up to the plate. Brockway led off the inning with a single up the middle on the first pitch he saw. Alan Arroyo would get hit by the pitch during the at-bat after. Arroyo and Brockway would advance to second and third after a sac bunt by Shafi. Brockway scored during the next at-bat after a questionable balk call that was called by the umpire to make the score a 4-3 Wildcat lead. The Sabers would tie up the game after Rodriguez hit a single to center field, but the throw from Doyle didn’t get home in time to get Arroyo.

The tie game goes into the top of the seventh with the top of the order up for the Wildcats. Zamora comes onto the pitch for the Sabers. B. Heath lined out to right field for the first out of the inning. Herrera would hit a single into right field, and Ashton Aldaco would come in for a pinch run for him. Aldaco would get to second after a wild pitch and gets to third off a slow ground ball to first from T. Heath, which was the second out of the inning. Zamora threw a wild pitch that reflected off Rodriguez’s gear, and Aldaco took off for home. Aldaco just beat the tag at the plate and gave the Wildcats the one-run lead with his speed and awareness. The top of the inning ended after a strikeout from Kyler Campbell.

Williamson came into the game to pitch for B. Heath in the bottom of the seventh. Chris Cole was first up for the Sabers and hit a ground ball to third, but Cicero overthrew T. Heath at first, and Cole advanced to second. Dylan Love would pop out to T. Heath in foul territory for West Chicago’s first out of the inning. Nosek would strike out during the next at-bat. The Wildcats only needed one more out to win, but a passed ball from Campbell let Cole score from second and tied the game at five all. The inning would end with a strikeout by Brockway.

No runs were scored by either team in the eighth inning, even though the Wildcats had runners in scoring position but couldn’t convert.

At the top of the ninth, when the sun was just about to go below the horizon, the Wildcats didn’t go to sleep.

B.Heath lined out to right field to start the inning. Herrera was next up and smoked a ball into center for a single. With a man on for T. Heath, he could blow the game wide open with one swing of the bat. On the first pitch of the at-bat, T. Heath met the barrel of the bat to the sweet spot of the baseball. 370 feet later, the Wildcats would regain the lead. The dugout and fans jumped up into an ecstatic state as T. Heath rounded the bases for his fifth home run in his high school career.

Even though the Wildcats win they still show good sportsmanship to the Streamwood Sabers in the handshake line (Photo by Carlos Allen)

When asked about the moment of the at-bat, T. Heath said, “I don’t really remember what was going through my head; it’s kind of all a blur, you know. I see ball, hit ball far. It ended up working out in the end,”

Williamson would end up sealing the deal for the Wildcats after getting the final three outs of the game.

“They were resilient today; they battled back every time they faced adversity, and that’s what we need to continue to do,” said head coach T.J. Nall.

The Wildcats will try to get the series sweep on Wednesday, April 17th, at Pioneer Park.

 

 

 

 

 

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  • Mr. AielloApr 16, 2024 at 10:36 am

    Go team, sick win.