St. Viator had the squeeze play sniffed out right.
It all went wrong after that.
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Machesney Park Harlem scored 2 runs on an errant throw home from a pickoff attempt, part of a 4-run sixth inning as the Huskies rallied to eliminate St. Viator 7-4 at the Phil Lawler Summer Classic on Tuesday at Lisle's Benedictine University.
Harlem (19-2) trailed 4-3 with one out in the bottom of the sixth, but 2 hits and a walk loaded the bases. St. Viator (14-10) summoned Bobby Napoleon in relief.
Lefty Napoleon snap-threw to first to catch Alex Fluehr straying off the bag, but the throw home to cut down the advancing runner was wide. Harlem runner Cody Dietz, seeing that nobody was covering home plate, alertly came around to score the second and go-ahead run from second base.
"We had the suicide on there," Harlem coach Scott McCloy said, "and it was on (the pitcher's) first move. If they went for a pickoff we were stealing home. It was a called play. Steal home or suicide. Fortunately nobody covered home and our guy made a smart baserunning play."
Napoleon came back to strike out the next batter, but after a walk and an intentional walk Harlem's Cory Starnes compounded the damage with a 2-run single and 7-4 Huskies lead.
"We made a good call on the pickoff at first," St. Viator coach Mike Manno said, "we just didn't execute it with the throw at the plate. We had that runner thrown out. I think if we execute they don't score."
St. Viator, which dropped into the Tuesday morning game after a 5-4 loss to Maine South on Monday, jumped ahead early. Brian Wilhite walked and scored on a passed ball in the first inning, and Wilhite bounced a single through the hole into right to score Kevin Patzke and make it 2-0 in the third.
Harlem got a run back in its half of the third, but Cosimo Cannella's run-scoring groundout and Joe Rossi's RBI single off the second-base bag in the fifth made it 4-1. Harlem ace Drake Robison did, though, strike out the side to leave the bases loaded in the third and St. Viator stranded two more runners in the fifth.
"Kinda similar to yesterday -- we had chances to score and couldn't come up with the big hit," Manno said. "We let them stay in the game. Sometimes that comes back to bite you."
Nick Prazuch and Wilhite both had a stellar two days. Prazuch, who reached base three times Monday and made a spectacular catch in right field, went 2-for-2 and reached base all four times Tuesday.
"It's a great experience coming down here -- it's really good for the team," Prazuch said. "Hopefully it will roll into next year."
Wilhite reached base five times in two games for St. Viator, which was making its first appearance in the Summer Classic since 2003.
"Our kids made a good run at it," Manno said. "This is only going to benefit our program."