Wheaton North’s baseball team has been waiting on that one breakout inning.
Monday’s bottom of the sixth definitely qualifies.
Seven two-out runs on 6 two-out hits rallied the Falcons to a 9-4 victory over visiting Wheaton Warrenville South and kept Wheaton North mathematically alive for a share of its third straight DuPage Valley Conference title.
Wheaton North (21-7, 13-6), still two games behind first-place Naperville Central, may need a little too much help to catch the Redhawks. The Falcons, however, still want to be playing well against their cross-town rival heading toward the playoffs.
“Everyone up and down the lineup just creamed the ball,” said Falcons designated hitter Jake Taschetta, whose 2-run single broke a 4-4 tie. “It seemed like instead of having that one big inning we were rationing it throughout the game, and that obviously wasn’t working. So once we saw that one guy get a hit and then the next guy and the next guy, we all just started piling on.”
Mike Saccucci’s RBI single helped the Tigers (16-12, 11-8) to a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning, an advantage that grew to 3-0 in the third on Ben Bach’s run-scoring triple.
Wheaton North narrowed the gap to 3-1 in the bottom of the third when Tom Colletti, who gutted out a complete-game effort on the mound, singled home a run. The teams again traded runs in the fifth when Chris Amen briefly put the Tigers ahead 4-1 with an RBI single and Wheaton North’s Ryan Kent scored on a wild pitch to make it 4-2.
Colletti sent down WW South in order in the sixth, setting the stage for Wheaton North’s 7-run outburst on 7 hits and 4 errors.
“It was like one of those nightmares where you can’t wake up,” said WW South coach Tim Brylka. “We had a chance to get outs, and we didn’t. And they took advantage of it. Credit them for keeping pressure on us and putting the ball in play.”
River Williams, Lake Bachar and Jeff Harper each drove in a run with a single to expand the Falcons’ advantage to 9-4 heading to the seventh inning. Colletti again retired the Tigers in order to end the game, retiring the final eight batters he faced.
“We haven’t had that many two-out hits in a while,” said Wheaton North coach Dan Schoessling. “We’ve been scuffling the last week or so with runners in scoring position. We had a couple of those two-out today and we really needed them.”
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