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updated: 5/18/2017 10:22 PM

Baseball: Grayslake North happy to take this one, for the team

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  • Grayslake North pitcher Danny Yates delivers to an Antioch batter during Thursday's game at Antioch.

      Grayslake North pitcher Danny Yates delivers to an Antioch batter during Thursday's game at Antioch.
    Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Grayslake North's Regen Marsell (15) begins his slide into third base but is tagged out by Antioch's John Petty (15) during Thursday's game at Antioch.

      Grayslake North's Regen Marsell (15) begins his slide into third base but is tagged out by Antioch's John Petty (15) during Thursday's game at Antioch.
    Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Antioch first baseman Ben Gutke waits for the throw as Grayslake North's Charles Burr slides safely back into first base during Thursday's at Antioch.

      Antioch first baseman Ben Gutke waits for the throw as Grayslake North's Charles Burr slides safely back into first base during Thursday's at Antioch.
    Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Antioch's Connor Geidner (7) slides into second base but is tagged out by Grayslake North's Sebastian Sancen during Thursday's game in Antioch.

      Antioch's Connor Geidner (7) slides into second base but is tagged out by Grayslake North's Sebastian Sancen during Thursday's game in Antioch.
    Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Antioch pitcher Colin Wieska fires away during Thursday's game against visiting Grayslake North.

      Antioch pitcher Colin Wieska fires away during Thursday's game against visiting Grayslake North.
    Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

 
By Bill Pemstein
Daily Herald Correspondent

An old-fashioned beanball war broke out Thursday afternoon in Antioch.

Except that it was actually quite one-sided.

Hit by pitches were the Grayslake North battery mates, pitcher, Danny Yates and catcher, Austin DeLao.

A total of four North hitters were hit by the Antioch pitching staff in this Northern Lake County Conference final -- yet there were no hard feelings.

That's because Grayslake North was feeling no pain on this day.

Yates earned a win on the mound and DeLao reached base all four times as Grayslake North clinched the first NLCC baseball title with a 7-4 win over Antioch.

"They weren't intentional,'' DeLao noted.

OK, so what went right for the Knights on this pennant-clinching day?

Yates was staked to a quick 5-0 lead by the third inning. DeLao picked up 2 RBI in his first two-bats. And the backstop made sure to compliment his pitcher.

"His curveball was really working well today,'' DeLao said. "And his fastball was good, too."

Yates asked his catcher what he thought of his change-up.

"Oh, yeah, and his change-up was good, too,'' DeLao said.

Yates took a turn trumpeting his catcher's talents.

"He's a blast to have as a catcher,'' Yates said. "And he puts the ball right there when they try and steal."

The Sequoits certainly didn't wave the flag of surrender after the 5 runs went up for the Knights (21-5, 13-5).

Back-to-back hits from John Petty and Alex Unekis opened the home half of the third. The big hit of the inning came from first baseman Ben Gutke, whose double chased both runners home. Gutke came home on another hit from Patrick Day, and the North lead was down to 5-3.

The Knights used another hits-batsman and an infield error to restore their lead. Leadoff hitter Andrew Keaskowski drove in 1 of the 2 runs with a hit.

Antioch's JR Johnson led off the fourth with a single, and he scored what proved to be the last run of the game.

Both team's bullpens showed up in the season finale. Eric Obenauf got out an Antioch threat in the fifth and did not allow a hit in 2⅔ innings of relief.

Antioch's bullpen was just as effective. Coach Chris Malec called for hard-throwing Nick Sheren to get the last out of the game for Antioch, and Sheren came out with tough fastball.

"He's one of our late-inning guys,'' Malec said. "He has a good curve and good fastball."

Antioch has had a season of streaks this season -- and a collection of extra-inning games hit the schedule.

"Sometimes, we beat ourselves with outfield errors,'' Malec said.

Antioch (14-13-10-8) has a few games left before the playoffs kick off.

For the winning Knights, it's been a joyous season.

"Winning the conference, we went 2-of-3 with everyone,'' said North coach Brett Hill. "And we won three with Round Lake. I told the guys if we win the season series, we would have a shot at the conference title."

Yates, too, was very pleased with the way the season has gone for North.

"Everyone has a job on this team,'' Yates said. "And everyone loves their job."

North had 9 singles in the win. Deleo and Charlie Burr each had 2.

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