Sciaccotta steps in, and Barrington moves on
Just before the start of the game, Barrington's Joey Sciaccotta had to move from playing second base to shortstop after Dylan Lidge's hip pointer acted up.
While the defensive move had Sciaccotta a bit unnerved for the first few innings, the junior took out his frustrations at the plate.
Sciaccotta had 2 hits, including a huge two-out single in the sixth inning to drive in the eventual winning run as host Barrington edged Crystal Lake Central 4-3 in a Class 4A regional play-in game.
"It felt really good to do that for the team, especially not play that well defensively," said Sciaccotta, who drove in half the Broncos' runs. "It was great to win it."
Barrington (21-11) next meets Cary-Grove on Wednesday in a regional semifinal at Jacobs.
"It will be funny to go back and play Cary," said Barrington coach Pat Wire, who played at and graduated from Cary-Grove in 1996. "That's where I played. It will be interesting."
Sciaccotta's last hit made a winner of Scott Nelson, who upped his season mark to 9-1.
"I felt great out there today," said Nelson, who sent the distance, allowing 9 hits while striking out four. "The baserunners never bother me because I have (catcher Ryan) Lidge back there. I can just focus on the hitters then."
Nelson did not give up an earned run as Crystal Lake Central (18-11) took advantage of 3 Barrington errors to score all their runs. The Tigers scored in the top of the second on a sacrifice fly by Jamer Larkins. Barrington came back in its half of the inning to tie the game as Nelson, who had singled to lead off the inning, scored on Dylan Balogh's RBI single.
Crystal Lake Central pushed over a pair on runs the very next inning thanks to 2 errors by the Broncos. The inning may have been worse had not Sciaccotta finally get comfortable at short and catch a Tigers runner overrunning third base. Sciaccotta threw a perfect strike Balogh to end the inning.
In the fourth, Nelson and Jake Coon scratched out infield hits. Jake Peterson then walked and Balogh reached on an error to score Nelson. Sciaccotta then used his wheels to drive in the tying run, beating out the last part of a double play to score Coon.
"I have played short most of my life," said Sciaccotta. "but have only been there once this year. It was a little bit of adjustment. But I was more comfortable as the game went on."
Nelson then pitched himself out of two-out jams in the both the fifth in sixth, when the Tigers put baserunners in scoring position in each of the innings. Nelson got a pop out to end one threat and a strikeout to close out another inning.
"It wasn't like there were hard hits," Nelson said. "But I was able to get them off balance and get out of there."
In the sixth, Peterson reached on an error to lead off the inning. Balogh then bunted him to second, and Sciaccotta drilled a 3-2 pitch into center to drive in Balogh.
"He just delivered for us," Wire said. "That's the bottom line. Anytime you come up and grow up as kid, you want to be in that situation. That's Joey Sciaccotta. He has a heart that is much bigger than his frame. He is a special, special kid."
Nelson and Macray Poidomani both had 2 hits for the Mid-Suburban West champs.
"We had some chances," Crystal Lake Central coach Dan Badgley said. "They just didn't fall in there for us."
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