Barrington coach Pat Wire didn't know what to expect when he handed the ball to starting pitcher Jake Zyzda.
"He has pitched real well for us," Wire said before the game. "But he also had a hiccup in one of our losses."
Wire's concerns were for naught as Zyzda kept host Elk Grove in check for more than 5 innings and Barrington scored all its runs with two outs to topple the Grenadiers 5-2 Friday.
"That's the Zyzda that has pitched for us," Wire said. "He has not pitched like a sophomore. He pitched wonderful for us tonight."
Zyzda scattered 5 hits while striking out three to pick up the win.
"This has been a great growing experience for me," Zyzda said. "It has really helped me to be with these guys. They have taught me so much. It gets me way more excited for the years to come."
Joey Sciaccotta got Barrington's offense rolling in a battle of the leaders of their respective divisions in the MSL.
Sciaccotta lofted a two-out double to right in the second inning that just eluded a diving Austin Shallcross. The hit scored Daniel Kubiuk, who had doubled, and Luke Johnson, who had walked.
"I was just trying to hit through the ball," Sciaccotta said. "We got guys on base and we have to bring them in. We have a constant focus. But when there are runners on with two outs, we are on a mission."
That mission continued as the Broncos tallied a run in each of the next three innings with two outs to give Zyzda some breathing room.
Jake Petersen, who reached on a fielder's choice, scored on Anthony Lombardi's RBI single in the third. Mitch Pfeiffer, who had 2 hits, singled home Johnson, who had doubled in the fourth and Jake Coon, who had walked in the fifth, scored on a wild pitch.
Elk Grove got its offense in gear in the 6th. Brandon Post walked with one out. Peter Arbov followed with a sharp double to right, scoring Post. But Brad Powell came in to relieve Zyzda, and after a wild pitch that scored Arbov, Powell got a strikeout to end the threat.
Kubiuk came in to put down the top of Elk Grove's batting in order to end the game.
Barrington (22-6, 10-2) kept a 1-game lead over Schaumburg in the battle for the MSL West title. Those two teams are scheduled to meet next Monday and Wednesday.
In the MSL East, Elk Grove (16-8, 8-4) fell into a first-place tie with Prospect, and Rolling Meadows is 1 game back. Elk Grove meets Meadows on Monday and Wednesday while Prospect plays Hersey on the same days.
"Give Barrington a lot of credit," Elk Grove coach Terry Beyna said. "They put a complete game together. We hung in there and kept it fairly close.
"This game was big game for both of us. We've got to move on. We have big games coming up and at this point in the season, every conference game is huge."