Every inning seemed to be a long one when Grant hosted Deerfield in a nonconference baseball game on a cold and windy Friday afternoon in Fox Lake.
But the biggest inning in a game where neither team could cleanly retire the side in order turned a promising beginning into a long and slow march to the finish for Grant. Deerfield turned a 3-run deficit into a 3-run lead in the fourth and was on its way to an 11-5 victory in six innings.
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Grant (4-2) junior left-hander Ryan Noda helped give himself a 5-2 lead with a bases-loaded walk in the first and a 3-run double with two outs in the second. But Deerfield used a succession of singles to methodically catch up and take the lead for good in a 6-run outburst.
"I don't know how many balls they hit between third and short," Grant coach Dave Behm said after his team was outhit 13-4. "They were finding holes today, but they also hit other balls really well.
"Ryan did well except for that one inning. When you get those situations where a couple of guys get on and at-bats don't go your way, you have to stop the bleeding."
Noda had 4 strikeouts and 1 walk in the first three innings. But a walk and hit batter to start the fourth led to RBI singles by Dillon Wallace (2-for-5, 2 RBI), Ben Browdy, Zach Wade (2-for-4) and Jared Rubin (2-for-5) and a sacrifice fly by Andrew Fisher.
David Silverberg had a 2-run double in the second, Zander Horwitz had a sacrifice fly and Addison Jacoby went 2-for-2 as Deerfield now has 38 hits in a three-game winning streak.
"That's a huge deal," Deerfield coach Kevin Marsh said of beating last year's third-place state finisher in Class 4A. "We've got a nice squad and we can do some things.
"We showed some mental toughness and I was wondering if we had the moxie to come back. The kids have showed they're not going to give up for anything."
Junior righty Mac Levin got the victory with 4 innings of 2-hit relief with 1 strikeout and 2 walks. The game was called one hitter into the bottom of the seventh because of darkness.
"Mac is a breaking-ball guy and their guys had trouble once he got in there," Marsh said.
"He did a nice job of mixing it up," Behm said, "and he threw (the curve) in every count."