During tryouts back in February, Tyler Teele wasn't in the forefront for Schaumburg coach Cal Seely.
Back then Seely couldn't have expected Teele, a sophomore with no varsity experience, to be the guy who would bring him his first playoff victory over West Chicago (4-27).
Schaumburg edged the Wildcats 4-2 in a play-in game of the Class 4A regional hosted by the Saxons. It continues Wednesday in games played at Boomers Stadium.
"It's an exciting feeling, but today is all about the kids," said Seely. "They could have hung their heads early, but they didn't."
Seely brought in Teele to pinch hit with bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth inning with the score tied.
"Teele has been hitting well all year at the sophomore level and has showed confidence since being brought up," Seely said.
The table was set for Teele by singles from junior Jack Holden and senior Kyle Reinhart, and a hit-by-pitch by Omar Sandoval.
"I just wanted to find a fastball to hit and drive -- it felt great," Teele said of the go-ahead hit to send the Saxons to the regional semifinal against No. 1 seed Lake Park. Schaumburg finished with 3 runs in the inning on 3 hits and a walk.
Seely and the Saxons (8-15) knew what kind of outing they would get from senior pitcher Max Paolicchi, who went 5 innings with 6 strikeouts on 3 hits and no earned runs.
"Getting that run in the first inning from (Ryan) Woloszyk was big because it gives me confidence and I can clear my head," said Paolicchi.
West Chicago coach Dan McCarthy stressed how pleased he was with this year's seniors. In a season that saw the Wildcats lose 14 games by 2 runs or less, he looked to his senior class to keep the morale of the team positive.
"I had a group of seniors that I can't say enough about," McCarthy said. "You talk about a group of guys that really care about each other and were willing to do whatever they needed to get a victory."
The Wildcats have struggled to get that one big hit, which was again a problem. West Chicago had an opportunity in the sixth inning with bases loaded and one out, but relief pitcher Brad Schwind ended the threat with a strikeout and groundout to second.
Roosevelt-bound pitcher Mike Zajac had 5 strikeouts in six innings for the Wildcats, but it wasn't enough as he saw his 2-1 lead slip away in the sixth.
"I didn't want it to be our last game but I am honored my coach has that trust in me to put me on the bump," Zajac said.