Barrington Legion travels tough road to success
Barrington has already found out how tough it is to get to Lena for the American Legion baseball Second Division tournament.
Navigating the 100-mile trip to the small town about 15 miles northwest of Freeport might seem like a joy ride compared to the road Barrington took to win the 10th District tourney Sunday.
Barrington (25-12) had to beat Waukegan twice over the weekend and come back in Sunday's final game to claim its second 10th District title in three years. Now it will face host Lena (20-3) in the five-team, double-elimination division tourney.
"People have said we didn't have any talent and we wanted to make sure to let everyone know that was wrong," said Barrington coach Pat Wire. "To win two district titles in the last years is amazing considering the company of that district."
That has also made this week's challenge even more daunting for Barrington as it had to use its top two pitchers Sunday against Waukegan.
Chris Rogers took an 8-4 loss in a game where Barrington made an uncharacteristic 7 errors. Greg Gerrard went 2⅓ innings on two days' rest to save the 7-4 title-clinching win for Wyatt Trautwein.
Wire said Taylor Ward will start against Lena.
"We can do some major damage if we get our (number) ones back in the tournament, but Ward has pitched awesome," Wire said. "It was awesome to turn it over to a 15-year-old (Trautwein) and say, 'Go win it for us.'"
Derek Foderaro had 8 RBI in the district tournament. Nick Spagnola had 6 hits in Sunday's two games, Steve Schwartz hit a seventh-inning homer and Ryan Lidge has been a big part of the Barrington offense all summer.
Barrington didn't get any breaks on its draw, either. Coaches from Lena and Fulton, which is representing the 13th District, opted not to play Saturday's title game to rest their pitchers. Fulton plays 11th District champion Elgin at 2 p.m.
If Barrington wins its first game, it would play again at 2 p.m. Wednesday against the 12th District champion, which received a first-round bye.
The Second Division winner advances to the state tournament July 27-31 in Galesburg.
Cook County pairings:
First-round games are set for 4 p.m. Wednesday in the Cook County American Legion tournament. Top-seed Elk Grove will host Portage Park, which beat Morton Grove 10-7 in a play-in game.
No. 2 Arlington hosts No. 5 Mount Prospect at Rec Park and No. 3 Palatine, the defending champion, hosts No. 4 Northbrook at Harper College.
All games are nine innings in the double-elimination tourney which runs through this weekend.
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