Huntley’s baseball team produced enough runs to win Saturday.
But in the end, the Red Raiders’ season-opening winning streak of 13 came to an abrupt halt because of shoddy defense and pitching.
Hindered by 4 errors and 8 walks combined from pitchers Bryce Only and Tommy Regan, the No. 1 Red Raiders absorbed their first loss of the season, 9-7, to Prairie Ridge in a Fox Valley Conference Valley Division contest in Huntley.
“Eight walks and 4 errors is certainly not a recipe for success,” said Huntley coach Andy Jakubowski. “(PR) did a good job of coaxing walks from our pitchers and we played poor defense. We scored 7 runs against their best pitcher. I will take that any time. PR played with more passion and intensity than we did. “
Along with benefiting from walks, PR was able to utilize the long ball. In the first inning, the Wolves used walks from Matt Furst and Joe Van Doorn along with a single from Bryan Klendworth to load the bases. Mike Hallstrom cleared them all with a grand slam homer off Only to give the Wolves a 4-0 advantage.
But the Red Raiders (13-1, 6-1) responded with 4 runs in the second, keyed by a 2-run single from Tyler Mindak to tie the score at 4.
Huntley took a 6-5 lead in the third on a 2-run homer by Matt Sullivan.
The Wolves seized control of the game with 3 in the fourth led by a 2-run homer by Klendworth..
The Wolves added an insurance run in the seventh on a pinch-hit RBI single by Marcus Sergeant to make the score 9-6.
In the seventh, the Red Raiders started to mount a rally as pinch hitter Dillon Dell Aquilla started the inning with a walk and eventually scored on an infield ground out by Only.
Winning pitcher Mike Reitcheck got the final out of the game as Tyler Albright flew out to Prairie Ridge center fielder Jordan Getzelman.
Reitcheck, who was nursing a bad ankle, threw 122 pitches in hurling a complete game. The senior left-hander, who allowed 6 runs in the first 3 innings, settled down and allowed the Red Raiders only a run on 3 singles during the final 4 innings. For the game, the PR ace struck out 9 and walked 1.
“It was a gutsy performance by Mike,” said PR coach Glen Pecoraro, who earned his 300th win at PR. “He struggled early but finished strong. “Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.