It didn't take the Huntley baseball team long to wrap up the outright title in the Fox Valley Conference on Thursday.
Playing Crystal Lake South in the completion of a game suspended on Tuesday in the bottom of the sixth inning with the score tied 3-3, Huntley scored twice in the sixth on a walk and 3 straight hits and Nick Constantino retired the Gators in order in the seventh to finish a 5-3 victory.
The win secured Huntley's first outright title in the Fox Valley Conference's Valley Division. The Red Raiders shared the FVC Valley title in 2010 and 2013.
"Our guys were geared up for this and it was probably the most enthusiastic they've been a while," Huntley coach Andy Jakubowski said. "Not to be greedy, but they wanted (the title) for themselves."
Matt Sullivan drew a one-out walk against CL South pitcher Josh Smith in the sixth inning, and Illinois recruit Mark Skonieczny followed with a single to put runners at first and third. Tommy Kirakopoulos then singled in the go-ahead run, and Jake Ciskowski's subsequent RBI single made it 5-3.
Huntley (23-7-1, 15-4) lost an error-plagued, 15-5 decision to Cary-Grove on May 9, but the Red Raiders regrouped to win their last 7 games against Fox Valley Conference opponents. They won the FVC Valley by a game over Jacobs (21-12, 14-5), which defeated Huntley twice.
"I'm very proud of the guys," Jakubowski said. "We faced some adversity losing two games to Jacobs, losing to McHenry when we were one out away from a win and bouncing back from a bad defensive game against Cary-Grove. We think we have a formula that works, and they stuck with the plan."
Jacobs finished the FVC Valley season with a 4-2 win at Dundee-Crown on Thursday in the completion of a game that was suspended on Tuesday with the score tied 2-2 after eight innings.
Danny Vandewalker smacked a 2-run home run with two outs in the 11th, his second homer in as many days and third of the season, and Reilly Peltier (5-2) pitched 3 scoreless innings to post the victory. Dan Denz took the loss for Dundee-Crown (12-18, 8-11).
Though the Golden Eagles fell short one game short of their goal of winning the program's first title in the Fox Valley Conference, they won 20 games for the second straight year and only the second time in school history.
"I told our guys I'm proud of them," Jacobs coach Jamie Murray said after Thursday's game in Carpentersville. "I'm proud of the fact that going into our 19th conference game that we still had a chance to win it. I've been around this program for six years and usually you don't hear Jacobs mentioned with Fox Valley Conference championships. We had our opportunities. It just didn't work out. For our juniors, sophomores and freshmen, we'll use it as motivation for '15."