South Elgin's baseball team pulled some magic out of its hat for a come-from-behind 6-5 win in the first game of a doubleheader against visiting Metea Valley on Saturday and almost did it again in Game 2.
However, the Storm couldn't quite pull off the trick a second time and had to settle for a split after a heartbreaking 10-9 loss that went nine innings in an Upstate Eight Conference Valley Division meeting Saturday in South Elgin.
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The loss snapped a 7 game win streak for South Elgin.
The Storm (13-8, 11-6) trailed 5-2 in the opener before scoring 2 runs in the fifth inning, a run in the sixth inning to tie it, and another in the eighth to win it.
Dane Toppel ripped an opposite field RBI single to right field with the bases loaded to score Ryan Nutoff with the game-winner.
"They were working me backwards all game," Toppel said. "So I went up looking off speed, but when he got two strikes on me he came with two fastballs that I had to fight off. The third time I knew he was coming back with a fastball again and just took it to right field. Always good to win that first one. I just wish we could have got the second one."
Toppel had tied the game at 5-5 with an RBI single in the sixth.
Nick Menken went 4-for-4 with a pair of RBI for the Storm.
"I was sitting dead red on the fastball all day," Menken said. "That was a lot of baseball today. It would have been nice to pull out that second game, but I'm proud of the way we battled back all day. Days like this definitely helps the team bond stronger together."
Austin Sayre (1-2) pitched 4 shutout innings in relief to pick up the win. He allowed just 3 hits and walked only 2 batters.
South Elgin rallied back from a 4-0 deficit early in Game 2 to take a 6-4 lead. Then after falling behind 7-6 the Storm tied the game with two outs in the seventh inning to force extra innings.
Metea Valley scored 3 runs in the top of the ninth inning, but it looked like the Storm was about to rally again when they scored twice in the bottom of the inning and had the bases loaded with 2 outs. However, Kyle Hays lined out hard to second base to end the game.
Antonio Danesi went 2-for 4 with a pair of RBI in the second game for the Storm. Danny Asa had an RBI single with two outs in the seventh inning to tie the game at 7-7. Chase Lazopoulos pitched 3⅔ innings in relief and took the loss.
The Storm were plagued by 5 errors in Game 2.
"I thought we did a real good job of battling back all day," South Elgin coach Jim Kating said. "I was really pleased with that. What I am not very happy about is giving a team that many extra outs in an inning. You can't expect to win games, especially against teams like Metea Valley, when you are putting that many people on base and giving them so many chances."
Sam Hanson drove in the go-ahead run for Metea Valley in the ninth inning with a bases loaded fielders choice. Jack Szott added a 2-run single. Jose Gomez gave up 3 runs in 4⅔ innings of relief to pick up the win. Sam Janus came in to get the final out to earn the save.
"Both teams could have easily walked away from here 2-0 or 0-2," Metea Valley coach Craig Tomzcak said. "Mistakes and errors cost both teams. I'm just glad we were able to hold on in the second game and come away with at least one win."