It may be a well-worn cliche, but it was never more true than Saturday afternoon in Des Plaines.
Neither pitcher deserved to lose this one.
Both James Duckmann of Maine West and Maine South's Patrick Aloisio pitched outstanding 10-inning complete games at the Warriors' Class 4A boys baseball regional final.
Just when it looked like both durbale ironmen could go on forever, the Hawks struck in the bottom of the third extra frame.
Maine South third baseman Keenan Kelly stroked a two-out, bases-loaded single in the 10th as the Hawks outlasted Maine West 3-2 in a thriller.
No. 1-seed Maine South moves on to play Niles West at Evanston at 4:30 p.m. Wednedsay in the sectional semifinal.
"What an exciting game," said Hawks senior center fielder Kyle Richardson. "I have to admit I'm a little tired, but I feel great. Our guys came through today in a tough situation."
After the start of the game was delayed over an hour by lightning the Warriors struck first in the third inning on a 2-run single by Duckmann.
Maine South, the home team on the scoreboard, tied things up in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI double from Richardson and a wild pitch.
Then Aloisio and Duckmann matched each other pitch for pitch until the 10th.
"We put a lot of trust in our pitcher today," said Maine West designated hitter Tommy Hennessy of Duckmann, "and he came through for us in a big way."
Duckmann only allowed the Hawks 4 hits until the 10th, when a double by Lawrence Darlak, a single from Rocky Saavedra and an intentional walk loaded the bases for Maine South.
The Warriors (19-18) standout hurler then fanned 2 Hawks swinging, but Kelly hit a 2-out single down the line that fell just out of reach of the Warriors right fielder for the game winner.
Kelly's big hit made a winner out of Aloisio, who twice before this season had pitched 9-inning games but had never in his career gone as far as 10.
"I thought I might be coming out (after 9 innings)," said Aloisio, one of the Hawks captains. "But my pitch count was under a hundred so they let me stay out there for the 10th."
Maine West coach Joe Pederson also considered removing Duckmann before the final frame, but said he was monitoring the senior closely and decided the pitcher could keep going.
"He shook me off," said Pederson. "He really wanted to stay in this game."
St. Viator-Deerfield, ppd.: The 3A regional final between No. 3 St. Viator (20-16) and No. 10 Deerfield was postponed to 10 a.m. Monday after a late-morning thunderstorm Saturday left the field unplayable.
Niles West 6, Leyden 0: Fifth-seeded Leyden saw its season end at 18-16 with the loss in the 4A Niles West final.