While pitching in relief Saturday, Elk Grove's David Camacho was chased by Arlington after facing just five batters.
On Monday in the Cook County Division 1 championship game, it was Camacho's turn to do the chasing. Camacho allowed just 2 hits and 1 unearned run while pitching a complete game as Elk Grove defeated Arlington 11-1 in 8 innings at Recreation Park in Arlington Heights.
"You always want to forget the bad and go get them again," said Comacho, who will attend Rockford College next year.
"I was locating my spots real well and they were hitting it right where we were."
Elk Grove coach Kevin Miller, whose Red Sox advanced to the state tournament in Trenton to meet Edwardsville at 3 p.m. Wednesday, was ecstatic about Comacho's performance.
"Comacho did an incredible job," Miller said. "For him to get ahead of guys and pitch like he did was great. This is a team that has hit him around all season long. I challenged him up before the game. He is a competitive kid. He is a quiet kid and he wears everything inside -- but he has that drive and you saw that today."
Elk Grove's victory was the fourth time that the Red Sox had beaten Arlington in six games this season. The Red Sox banged out 16 hits to bounce back from Sunday's 5-3 loss to Arlington.
"It was nice," Miller said. "We finished it off right, especially after yesterday. I think I lost a little sleep last night. But we got some runs early and that helped."
After Comacho shut down Arlington in the first, Elk Grove (29-6) put a 3-spot on the board in its half. Back-to-back doubles by Thomas Byrne (3-for-4, 3 runs scored) and Jordan Grubb gave the Red Sox their first run.
"I love playing against these guys," said Grubb, who collected 2 hits to increase his total to 8 in the three playoff games against Arlington.
"They are a good team and competitive, but today we just had it going."
Grubb, who scored three times, then crossed the plate on an error. Cosimo Canella, who reached on that error, later scored on Kyle Reinharts' fielder's choice.
Arlington threatened to climb back into the game the next inning. Mike Dolan, who had both of Arlington's hits, singled and scored on a sacrifice fly by Mike Wazorick. But with runners on first and second and two outs, Camacho snared a hard liner off the bat of Sean De La Cruz to end the threat.
"The season started out well, but then I had some problems," Camacho said. "I was able to pitch out of them today. I am back now."
The Red Sox scored a run in the third and 2 more in the fourth inning to take a 6-1 lead.
Colin Bethran (2 hits), who had doubled and advanced to third on a flyout, scored on a balk in the third. Grubb, who finished with 3 RBI, doubled home Adam O'Malley and Byrne as the Red Sox began to pull away.
Elk Grove added a run in the sixth on Bethran's RBI single. Brandon Cortez singled home a pair in the seventh as Elk Grove built a 9-1 lead and began to think about shortening the game via the 10-run rule.
That became a reality in the eight when Bryne scored on a wild pitch and Jeremy Hall banged out his fourth hit of the day to drive home Grubb with the clincher.
"I was really seeing the ball well today," Hall said. "It was the perfect time to have my best day at the plate."
Behind Camacho's sparkling performance and the shortened game, Elk Grove saved some pitching for the state tournament.
"I came in here today figuring Camacho could do the job," Miller said. "But if we had to, we would have gone with everyone we had. Now we have our pitching set up for the state finals."
Coach Lloyd Meyer, who completed his 59th year as Arlington head coach, was disappointed about the loss but still pleased with his team.
"We are really young," Meyer said. "Some of these kids are high school sophomores, while they have a bunch of college kids. We grew up a lot this year and the kids got better. That is the whole idea here."
Arlington 010 000 00 -- 1 2 1
Elk Grove 301 201 22 -- 11 16 3
2B: EG: Grubb 2, Byrne, Bethran, Reinhart