West Chicago completes comeback to sweep Streamwood

The Wildcats wins the series against the Sabers after a disappointing start to the game.
Starting pitcher Tyler Heath looking for the sign from the Catcher
Starting pitcher Tyler Heath looking for the sign from the Catcher
Photo by Carlos Allen

The West Chicago Wildcats Varsity baseball team was back in action on April 17 after Monday’s thrilling extra-innings win.

In the first game of the series, the Wildcats fought through a lot of adversity, but senior Tyler Heath came up big for West Chicago in the top of the ninth. Heath hit a two-run home run to the opposite field, which sealed the win for the Wildcats and made them 5-6 on the year.

Tyler Heath would start on the mound for West Chicago during the April 17 game. Tyler Heath led the Cats in ERA with 2.47 in 17 innings pitched.

Senior Miguel Rodriguez, behind the dish on Monday, started on the mound in Wednesday’s competition. Rodriguez had – prior to this afternoon – only one pitching appearance this year, which was a six-inning, four-earned-run win against Elgin.

The game started with Streamwood’s Austin Paskewic drawing a walk. Rodriguez was up next and got onto first after an error by senior Dominic Cicero, which advanced Paskewic to second.

The Sabers scored the first run on a throwing error by Brandon R. Heath from the bat of Antonio Alanis. Then, Paskewic scored from second. Next up for the Sabers was Chris Cole, who hit a slow ground ball to senior Rafa Herrera. Herrera threw home, but was not in time to get Rodriguez.

Within the same inning, Brockway got hit by the pitch in the at-bat, loading the bases – with no outs. Alanis scored the final run of the inning by getting home on an error by catcher and senior Kyler Campbell to put Streamwood in front early, with a 3-0 lead.

Shortstop Brandon R. Heath seeing the ball going into his glove as he turns the double play. (Photo by Carlos Allen)

West Chicago was scoreless in the bottom of the first, even though Herrera got on base with a single. Brandon Heath and Campbell both struck out to end the inning.

In the top of the second, Streamwood’s Isaiah Shafi grounded out to Brandon Heath for the first out of the inning. The second out came immediately after from the bat of Paskewic, which landed in junior Tommy Doyle’s glove in center field.

With two outs and a full count for Rodriguez, Heath walked him. The same result happened with Alanis in the next at-bat. Cole stepped up to the plate with runners on first and second and ripped the ball down the third base line that brought home Rodriguez. Alanis and Cole advanced to third and second after Cicero threw the ball away after trying to hold on to it while mid-throw. Streamwood’s Levi Brockway would come up next and hit a double in the left-center gap to bring home Cole and Alanis to widen the Sabers lead to 6-0.

The bottom of the second is where the Wildcats got in their groove, however. On the first two pitches of the inning, Doyle and Cicero both hit singles to put baserunners on for WEGO. Junior Zach Williamson reached first on an error by a low throw to first from Cole at shortstop.

With the bases loaded, junior Royal Day stepped into the box. Day’s at-bat led to an RBI fielder’s choice that brought Doyle home for West Chicago’s first run of the day.

Next up was junior Zack Kreitzer, who hit a single that drove in Cicero to put the game within striking distance for the Wildcats at 6-2. Brandon Heath settled into the box with one out and runners on the corners; he struck a ground ball right at Cole that led to an RBI and a fielder’s choice.

Herrera would fly out to Brockway to end the inning.

Junior Zack Kreitzer on first after his RBI single (Photo by Carlos Allen)

Neither team scored in the third inning.

Cole led off the top of the fourth, however, but swung on the first pitch, which led to an easy fly ball for Doyle to catch. Senior Drew Zeman came into relief for Tyler Heath.

Brockway was up next for Streamwood, and flew out to Day in right. Riley Nosek ended up getting walked but did not go anywhere because of Arroyo, who struck out to end the top part of the inning.

In the bottom half of the fourth, Cicero continued his hitting streak by lining a ball to the right field fence, which ended in a stand-up double that got the inning started for the Cats.

Williamson followed with a single into left field to put runners on the corners. Rodriguez bounced the pitch in front of the plate, and it got behind Paskewic, which led to Cicero making a break for home. Cicero slid into home, but at the same time, the ball hit him in the helmet from the throw from Paskewic. Williamson was hustling around the bases from the start of the play and went home after seeing the deflection off of Cicero. Williamson was called safe at home to make the score 6-5.

Day hit a single during the same at-bat. Day got to third after stealing second and getting advanced during a groundout by Brandon Heath. Day scored on a balk call that was made by the home plate umpire to tie up the game at six. Streamwood’s head coach, Daniel Jennings, did not like the call and went out and argued with the umpire for a little while.

“[Jennings] doesn’t know that any ump can call a balk, and [he] likes to complain,” West Chicago alum Daniel Blickhan said.

Cole hit a double into center field to start the top of the sixth, and was driven home by a single from Brockway to reclaim the lead. 7-6.

Zeman got Nosek to fly out, which would be the last batter Zeman faced as Campbell would come in to pitch for him.

Campbell’s first batter faced was Arroyo, who got to first and scored Brockway on a missed pop-up by Brandon Heath to push the lead to 8-6 Sabers. The inning would end during the next at-bat with a double play.

The team congratulated each other after the win. (Photo by Carlos Allen)

In the bottom half of the sixth, Williamson started off with a single through the left side of the infield. However, Day struck out as out number one. Kreitzer hit a single into left field to put runners on first and second. EJ Huffman, who came into catch for Campbell, drew a walk.

With the bases loaded and two outs, Tyler Heath came into the box. Williamson scored after another ball was called by the umpire to make it a one-run ball game. Tyler Heath hit a grounder to Cole at shortstop, but the moment was too big for him. Cole threw the ball away, and Kreitzer and Huffman came home to score. As both touched home, it was the first time in the game that the Wildcats were in the lead. Campbell helped to add one more run to the lead by hitting a single into center that scored Tyler Heath.

“Didn’t start out so great, but finally got into the season a little bit later; now we’re hitting, making adjustments, and seeing the ball. Like Tyler said, see ball, hit ball far. As far as I can, at least. Step up to the plate with a confident mentality,” Kreitzer, who has had four RBIs in the last two games, said.

Campbell got the save as the Wildcats completed the comeback and took over first in the Upstate Eight with a 4-1 conference record.






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  • Greg BoApr 17, 2024 at 10:47 pm

    Nice article Carlito!