The intense Fox Valley Conference Valley Division race won't be decided until Thursday.
The Jacobs baseball team, tied with Huntley for first place in the FVC Valley with 2 games left for each, saw Tuesday's tilt at rival Dundee-Crown suspended by lighting after eight innings, tied 2-2.
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Meanwhile in Huntley, the Red Raiders and Crystal Lake South likewise were suspended due to weather right after the Gators had rallied for 3 runs in the top of the sixth to knot the score 3-3. That contest was halted with Huntley coming to bat.
Both games will resume Thursday afternoon. In the meantime, Jacobs (21-11, 13-4) today concludes its 2-game series with visiting Cary-Grove (18-12, 11-7) while Huntley (21-7-1, 13-4) travels to Dundee-Crown (12-16, 8-8).
Jacobs was on the wrong end of a 2-1 deficit with four outs to spare when Matt Kozlak launched a 1-0 pitch from Dundee-Crown starting pitcher Ahren Ludwig over the left-field fence for a game-tying solo home run.
"It was a fastball, high and in," Kozlak said.
"Just left it up," Ludwig said. "Don't really know what I was doing."
Ludwig otherwise knew exactly what he was doing. Five days earlier he held the Golden Eagles to an earned run on 1 hit and 6 walks in 7 ⅔ innings and struck out 7 in a 1-0 loss. Facing them in the rematch, he held the Eagles to 2 earned runs on 3 hits and 3 walks and struck out 9.
"That's his second time going up against them and he stuck to the game plan, went out and threw strikes," D-C coach Jon Anderson said. "I thought he had a little better command this time than he did last time, and that's all your can ask for."
Out of contention themselves, Ludwig made no secret of the enjoyment he and his teammates get from trying to play spoiler against the league co-leaders in the final two days of the 19-game FVC Valley campaign.
"We're trying to ruin people's seasons and take them down," said Ludwig, a lefty who used his off-speed pitches to frustrate Jacobs Tuesday.
Jacobs starting pitcher Brenden Heiss lasted 4⅔ innings. He held the Chargers to 2 runs (1 earned) on 3 hits and 5 walks. He struck out 6 before he was lifted with the bases loaded and two outs in the fifth. Reliever Ryan George came on to induce a popup and end the threat.
George eventually pithed 3⅓ innings, none more harrowing than the bottom of the seventh. Dundee-Crown loaded the bases with one out, but George induced a 5-2 fielder's choice and struck out a pinch hitter to send the game to extra innings, much to the delight of his teammates, who mobbed him upon his return to the dugout.
"They tried to sacrifice bunt with the second (batter) and I ended up walking him," George said. "That was the turning point of the inning for me. I was all over the place, so I reined it back in after that and started throwing my cutter a little bit more. That was pretty intense. I was pretty excited."
While the umpires and coaches were meeting after the eighth inning to decide if there was enough light to play the ninth, one of the umpires spotted a lightning bolt to the west and suspended the game.
"We'll come back Thursday at 4:15 and we'll go from there," Anderson said.