The Jacobs baseball players will long remember the fourth inning of Saturday's 7-2 victory in the Class 4A Crystal Lake South regional final.
Barrington would like to forget it altogether.
The Golden Eagles defeated the Broncos in a regional title game for the second straight season, fueled this time by the 3-hit pitching of sophomore Brenden Heiss (8-2) and a 7-run fourth inning in which 11 men batted against four Barrington pitchers.
"I guess hitting was contagious," said Jacobs senior Tim Hubner, whose 2-run double to the left-field corner highlighted the rally. "They walked a few guys and we got confident and we chained some hits together. It was a great inning for us."
The view wasn't as enjoyable from the other dugout.
"I don't like fourth innings for one reason or another after this one," Barrington coach Pat Wire said.
Jacobs advances to a McHenry sectional semifinal against Rockton Hononegah (24-11) on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. Jacobs defeated the Indians 3-2 in a sectional semi last season.
Mid-Suburban League West co-champion Barrington (26-11) took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning. Mitch Pfeiffer drew a one-out walk, stole second and third and scored on Luke Johnson's groundout to shortstop.
Jacobs (23-13), the second-place finisher in the Valley Division of the Fox Valley Conference, left five men on base in the first two innings. It was a different case in the fourth, which opened with line-drive singles by Ryan Sargent and Jake Jemmi that chased Barrington sophomore starting pitcher Jake Zyzda. Bradley recruit Wyatt Trautwein (6-1) did not pitch in either regional game for the Broncos. Asked if his pitching staff entered the game short handed, Wire said "a little bit. I'm not going to comment."
Barrington turned to senior Brad Powell in relief, but after he induced a popup for the first out he walked Jacobs No. 9 hitter Daniel Tenayuca to load the bases. Matt Kozlak then walked on 5 pitches to force in the tying run.
Wire again called on the bullpen, but Anthony DeLaurentis, who pitched 5⅓ innings in Wednesday's 8-3 win against Crystal Lake South, walked Ben Murray on a full count to force in the go-ahead run.
Due next was Grant Kale. Down in the count 1-2, he hit an opposite-field single to short right field to stake Jacobs to a 3-1 lead.
"With two strikes I'm looking to go to right field with the ball and moving up on the plate and protecting," Kale said. "My plan worked."
With the bases still loaded Danny Vandewalker beat a double-play relay throw to first base, allowing Kozlak to score the fourth run. Hubner's double made it 6-1 Jacobs, and Sargent's second hit of the inning drove in Hubner to cap the 7-run, 5-hit rally. Barrington reliever Daniel Kubiuk entered the game and got a flyout to right field to finally end the inning.
It was more than enough offense for Heiss. The right-hander went the distance, limiting the Broncos to 2 earned runs on 3 hits and 2 walks. He only struck out 3, but he induced 11 groundouts and 7 flyouts and his teammates played error-free defense.
"I couldn't have done it without them behind me," Heiss said. "I felt like I could throw the ball anywhere. Even if (Barrington) hit it, they had my back."
Barrington didn't get its first hit against Heiss until the fifth inning, a Jack Lenz single. The Broncos managed 2 hits in the seventh, including Joey Sciaccotta's RBI single.
"(Heiss) is a good pitcher and they're a good team," Wire said. "Every one of their players reached in some way, shape or form, so there's your story. They all had a hit except their leadoff guy. We had (3) hits and we couldn't throw strikes.
"It just wasn't us, that's the sad part about it. So it stings. When you play in games of this magnitude ... you know, I thought we had lightning in a bottle because we were able to escape the first two frames, but we just couldn't get it to go."
Jacobs coach Jamie Murray was proud of his team for beating a pair of 20-win teams to win the regional. The Golden Eagles defeated Cary-Grove (20-14) in a semifinal on Thursday.
"First time, back-to-back regionals, and this isn't some easy regional here," Murray said. "I felt (No. 4 seed Crystal Lake) South was as good as anybody, especially toward the end of the year. So to do what we did -- to beat a very good Cary-Grove team and to beat Barrington, which won its conference and won (26) games -- that says a lot about our players and what they're doing."