Using the wisdom of legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden would be regarded as a wise move.
Mount Prospect American Legion baseball coach Tom Krumsee has seen how powerful it can be the last few weeks. Particularly on Wednesday when his team was faced with two nine-inning Cook County tournament games at two different places in heat approaching 100 degrees.
Fourth-seeded Prospect (13-17-1) beat No. 5 Palatine 8-7 at Harper College and then went over to Rec Park in Arlington Heights and held on for a stunning 7-6 upset of top-seeded Arlington (22-13).
Krumsee said after his team came home from a trip to the Moline tournament at the beginning of July his son Eric gave him a speech by Wooden.
"The one thing he said was they never talked about wins and losses, they only talked about improvement," Krumsee said. "After my son told me that it change my outlook. This is all about the kids getting better for next year and that's why anybody should be doing this.
"Even (Wednesday) I said it's all about getting better. I told the kids I couldn't be prouder of all of them and the effort they gave."
Prospect will play again at 2 p.m. today at No. 3 Northbrook (39-8), which also improved to 2-0 in the tournament with a 6-3 victory over No. 2 Elk Grove (25-9). Palatine stayed alive with a 16-9 elimination-game win over Morton Grove.
Valparaiso-bound Trevor Haas went 7 innings in the win over Arlington as Prospect rallied from a 3-1 deficit with a 6-run seventh. One of the keys in the win was No. 2 catcher Tyler Klicka getting 2 hits, dropping a perfect suicide squeeze and stealing a base.
"He played a heck of a game," Krumsee said.
Jeremy Berger, who started and went 5 innings against Palatine, got out of an eighth-inning jam to keep Prospect ahead and pitched around a hit batter in the ninth with a strikeout and flyout. Josh Koutnik also had 2 hits.
Prospect came back in its postponed opener as Brad Moore went the final 4 innings against Palatine. Nick Nolan had a couple of hits and RBI, Jack Warner beat out a key infield hit and Mike Withey also helped by filling in at second base.
"It's a great bunch of kids," Krumsee said. "I felt like they put things together at the end of the season. We're really starting to gell and get contributions up and down the lineup."
Northbrook got a pair of big days in its win over Elk Grove as Brett Synek hit a pair of 2-run homers and Henry Erickson pitched a complete game.
"(Erickson) was sensational," said Northbrook coach Mitch Stewart.
"We weren't worried because we knew we had them on the ropes the whole game," Synek said of Elk Grove rallying from a 3-0 deficit to tie the game. "We still had the momentum on our side because our pitcher was doing his job.''
Roger Lane had an RBI single, Kevin Hilliard had an RBI double and Dave Geller had an RBI single in the fifth to tie the game. Northbrook scored on a two-out passed ball in the sixth and Synek provided some insurance with his fifth homer of the summer in the ninth.
Six errors cost Palatine and Trent Rehusch, who went the distance, in its loss to Prospect. Gunnar Anderson also went the distance against Morton Grove and the Blue Jays overcame another shaky defensive game as Brian Wilhite homered and Shane Devero had a triple and 2 doubles.
Palatine plays Elk Grove at St. Viator and Arlington hosts Portage Park or the Chicago Indians at Rec Park in elimination games at 4 p.m. today.
Second Division tourney: Host Barrington (23-16) dropped into the loser's bracket with a 10-6 loss to Wheaton on Wednesday. Barrington will play an elimination game at 11 a.m. today against Fulton, which advanced with a 9-0 forfeit win over Ottawa, and Wheaton plays Lake Zurich at 3:30 p.m.