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updated: 4/16/2013 8:33 PM

Elgin beats Streamwood in 7th

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By Brian Schaumburg
Daily Herald Correspondent

Catchers usually are known for their lack of speed.

Elgin's Brandon Higdon showed Tuesday he has some quickness.

Higdon beat out an infield single with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning to bring in the only run of the game in the Maroons' 1-0 Upstate Eight River Division win over Streamwood in Elgin.

"It was pretty close," Higdon said of the play at first. "I just saw (the first baseman) come off the bag and it was just a foot race from there. I knew I had to get there. I was just waiting for the ump to call me safe or out."

Ethan Henke led off the bottom of the seventh and was hit by a pitch, a pitch the Sabres' coaches thought was a strike. Tanner Bednar pinch ran for Henke. On the next pitch, Streamwood pitcher Keven Sojda hit Nicholas Turner in the helmet to put runners on second and first with no outs. After a strikeout, Omar Valadez hit a grounder back to Sojda, but the only play was to throw Valadez at first. With runners on second and third, Higdon hit a grounder in between the first baseman and second baseman. Second baseman Ramon Saldivar fielded the grounder and threw to Sojda. Higdon beat Sojda to the bag for the game-winning RBI for Elgin (2-7, 1-5).

"We were fortunate to get it at the end there," Elgin coach Dave Foerster said. "Brandon really hustling down the line really made the play."

The run allowed Kiko Mari to earn the victory. The junior right-hander threw a complete game, allowed 5 hits, walked 3 and struck out 7. The Sabres (1-9, 1-7) had runners in scoring position in the second, third, sixth and seventh innings but couldn't get the key hit off Mari (1-2).

"It's the game I was really able to throw my off-speed (pitch)," Mari said. "I worked a lot over the last week or so to throw that because the last few games I really didn't have that. I think that was important for me."

Sojda (1-2) allowed just 4 hits, two to Alex Buttell and two to Higdon. The junior left-hander walked 1 and struck out 7.

"It's a tough one to shallow," Sabres coach Ryan Lasota said. "Frustrating game. Kevin Sojda pitched his tail off for us today. We just couldn't get him any support."

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