Elk Grove saw its baseball season grounded Friday at the Class 4A Niles West sectional in Skokie.
The Grenadiers had 19 of their 21 outs in the infield as they fell to Maine South 5-2.
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Elk Grove (24-11), which had to wait until Friday after Thursday's game was rained out, had a difficult time with Maine South lefty Brian Jones. He got Maine South first baseman Adam Depkon lots of work -- 14 putouts worth.
"He (Jones) was aggressive with his fastball," Elk Grove coach Terry Beyna said. "I felt he was beating us with his fastball. I just think we didn't have a very good day at the plate."
Elk Grove got off to a terrific start in the bottom of the first.
Luc Dimaso drilled a one-out single to left. Michael Anciulis then smashed a 2-1 pitch 385 feet for a home run to left field as the Grenadiers appeared to be on their way with a 2-0 lead.
"He was missing with his curveball," said Anciulis, who knocked his third round-tripper of the season.
"He threw me a fastball and he left it up. And I just put a good swing on it."
Maine South came right back in the top of the second. The Hawks loaded the bases with two outs when Gherig Parker lofted a ball over Dimaso's head in right to clear the bases with a stand up triple.
"I thought getting of to a nice start was good for us," Beyna said. "We had a lot of confidence after that. But on a day with the wind blowing out, you knew it was going to take more than that.
"When they answered with 3, we went from a big high to a big low."
That low continued into the third when the Hawks were able to scratch out another run on a walk and pair of errors by the Grens. Maine South added another run in the top of fifth on an error and double to make it 5-2.
Meanwhile, Jones, who allowed just 3 hits, kept Elk Grove at bay, retiring 13 in a row with 9 of those outs coming on groundballs. Pinch hitter Nick Zack came up with a two-out single in the fifth to end the streak, but was forced out at second by another groundball.
But Elk Grove wasn't giving up. After all this is a team that had rallied to tie or win in the seventh inning four times this season.
Buoyed by that, Mikey Maize walked with one out and Josh Bergbreiter followed with a walk. Then Johnny Assimakopoulos was hit by a pitch to load the bases as Jones was pulled in favor of Bobby Pennington. The right-hander picked up where Jones left off, getting a pair of groundballs to third base to end the game.
"I just didn't have my best game today," said Elk Grove pitcher David Camacho, who allowed 8 hits while picking up the loss. "My fastball was up and I just didn't have great control."
Maize, who along with his teammates, was headed to prom after the game, would have gladly come home early to play in Saturday's sectional title game against Oak Park.
"It was really disappointing," Maize said. "But we had a great season. We played well all year and had a lot of fun as a team."
Beyna was pleased by his team's performance this year.
"We have nothing to hang our heads about," Beyna said. "We fought hard all year. It is a disappointing end. It was better to be here than not."