An early injury and a late-inning disaster was not a promising start for Elk Grove in last weekend's Moline American Legion baseball tournament.
But the Red Sox rebounded to win four straight games and advance to the tourney championship game where they lost 9-2 to Moline.
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"From where we started after the first game and to come back, it was good," said Elk Grove coach Brian Mucha. "I was glad to see it. The competition was great."
In the opener against Rock Island, Paul Warble retired the first two hitters but 10 pitches later felt a pop in his left shoulder. Mucha said Warble was scheduled to see a doctor today.
"I don't know if (Warble) will be able to come back," Mucha said. "That throws a damper in our plans."
Elk Grove (14-8, 7-0 in Cook County) led 4-3 going into the sixth inning but lost 10-6. Art Sutter and Julian Sipiora combined on an 8-3 win over Macomb and Ryan Hayes went the distance to beat Kenosha 5-4.
A 20-4 win over Ottawa put Elk Grove in the semifinals against Terre Haute (Ind.). Sipiora went the first 2 innings and Sutter came in after throwing 5 innings and 70 pitches two days earlier.
"He said, 'I can probably give you one (inning)," Mucha said. "Then he came in and said, "I can finish the game.' He said my arm feels great and he shut them down."
But Mucha said Elk Grove, which already lost Aaron Wright to season-ending arm surgery, was out of pitching for the final against Moline. Ben Wiertel did provide a boost before the tourney when he went the distance to beat Morton Grove.
"Guys are stepping up pitching-wise and we're hitting well," Mucha said.
Joe Belmonte is hitting .452, Nick Fillmore is over .400, Thomas Byrne is at .380 and Nick Hilliard hit his third homer in Moline.
Elk Grove is at the Northbrook tournament this weekend.
Postseason on horizon for Barrington: Tyler Ward's 4-hitter in Thursday's 10-0 win over Fox Lake in 5 innings kept Barrington in line for the No. 1 overall seed when the 10th District tournament starts next Wednesday.
Barrington (17-9, 10-3) has a one-game edge for the top seed and finishes regular-season play with Deerfield on Monday and Grayslake on Tuesday.
"We won it two years ago as the five seed so we're not taking anybody lightly," said Barrington coach Pat Wire. "I think we're dangerous but at the same token we know anybody can beat us."
Chris Rogers continued to be close to unbeatable as he threw a 2-hitter with 8 strikeouts in a 9-1 win over Lake Zurich. Rogers is 5-1 with a 1.10 ERA.
"He's been an absolute beast," Wire said.
Greg Gerrard is 2-1 with 2 saves and a 0.78 ERA and Ryan Lidge has a team-high 20 RBI in only 38 at-bats.
"I feel (pitching) is the strength of our team but at the same token I feel we can hit," said Wire, whose team is at the Northbrook tournament this weekend. "This is probably one of the better hitting teams we've had."
The top eight teams make the 10th District tourney and the top seeds host games Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The final games June 15-16 are hosted by defending champion Libertyville.
Blue Jays' captain Jack: Jack Andersen still has a year left at Fremd High School but has showed the maturity to be a captain for Palatine.
"He's doing a fantastic job at third base," said Palatine coach Jeff Ryder, "and even though he's so young he's stepped up as a leader."
Andersen hit 2 homers as Palatine went 3-2 at Moline and has all three of the team's homers this summer. He also saved the 4-1 third-place game victory over Macomb as winner Anthony Quagliano scattered 5 hits in 5⅓ innings.
Sean Stutzman had a pair of 3-hit games at Moline and Trent Rehusch got a victory and a save. Palatine is 14-4 overall and 3-2-1 in Cook County after a 4-4 game with Mount Prospect was called after nine innings because of darkness Tuesday.
"We're having a tough time scoring runs right now but our pitching and defense are keeping us in ballgames," Ryder said. "In close games we need to figure out how to stretch it out a little bit."
Arlington looks for consistency: Arlington's 3-2 finish at the Moline tournament included a 3-2 loss in 9 innings to the hosts and eventual tourney champs. Kurt Donner pitched the first 7 innings.
"All in all we played pretty well," said Arlington coach Lloyd Meyer. "Our hitting has been spread around and we have enough kids who have looked good off and on.
"Our pitching has been getting better, but until we start doing some of the little things we're not there yet. We're inconsistent and kind of like a roller coaster."
Arlington is off this weekend and was 14-7 overall and 7-0 in Cook County going into Thursday games with Mount Prospect and Portage Park.