Not that long ago, Jared Ludwig was pitching for the Dundee-Crown sophomore team. Thursday, he found himself on the mound in a postseason game.
Ludwig acquitted himself just fine, thank you, holding DeKalb to 3 hits over 5-plus innings while leading the Chargers to a 10-0, 6-inning victory.
D-C faces Huntley on Saturday at 2 p.m. for the title in the Class 4A DeKalb regional.
Ludwig got plenty of run support: the Chargers scored in five of the six innings, plating 4 runs in the third and 3 more in the fourth to break the game open.
Trent Muscat drove in 4 runs, and Muscat, Luis Garcia, and Zach Girard had 2 hits apiece for the Chargers (9-18).
"We put a complete game together," said D-C coach Jon Anderson. "We had our pitching, we had our defense, we hit the ball, we scored some runs, and we put up a zero.
"(Ludwig) got on the mound and he threw strikes. That's what you need. Walks can kill you."
Ludwig worked out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the second and was not seriously threatened again until giving up a leadoff triple to Danny Petras in the sixth. Chase Bloch came in at that point and retired the side, stranding Petras at third.
With the Chargers already leading 1-0 in the third, Muscat broke the game open with a bases-loaded double over the third-base bag. Muscat scored on Vince Damato's single.
D-C added 3 more in the fourth chasing DeKalb starter Shaun Johnson. The Chargers scored on an error, Dylan Kissack's sacrifice fly, and Garcia's single past third.
The Chargers scored single runs in the fifth and sixth, finally ending the game on the 10-run rule when Muscat raced home from second on an overthrow.
"It's just getting yourself good pitches to hit, making the defense field the ball," said Anderson. "We did that. We bunted a little bit today. Our guys did a nice job with the left-handed pitcher."
In all, the Chargers took advantage of 3 DeKalb errors while playing errorless ball themselves.