Baseball: Sabalaskey delivers game-winner for Glenbard North

It was a day of firsts for Glenbard North’s baseball team Wednesday afternoon.

Wyatt Sabalaskey’s 2-out, 2-strike RBI single in the bottom of the seventh inning drove home Cory Truty with the game-winning run during the Panthers’ 5-4 DuKane Conference victory over visiting St. Charles East (4-2, 2-1) in Carol Stream.

Sabalaskey, a senior catcher, finished with 3 RBI, including the first walk-off hit of his high school career, as the Panthers (5-4, 1-2) recorded their first conference victory of the young season.

“With two strikes, I’m really just looking to protect and take something the other way,” said Sabalaskey, who tied the game at 4-4 on an RBI groundout in the fifth inning. “He gave me something down the middle and I turned on it. I thought I got a pretty good amount of it, so I had a good feeling it would be over his (left fielder) head.

“It has been a rough past two games — we’ve been shut out both times but being able to put up five runs this game and walking it off, it’s a good feeling.

“St. Charles East has gotten the best of us the last two years, so being able to take this one is special. Being at home and my dad’s first game to watch me, it felt good to do that in front of him.”

Truty reached on an infield throwing error to lead off the seventh before advancing to second on Santino Busco’s sacrifice bunt.

Following an intentional walk to Josh Christman, a strikeout left the game in the hands of Sabalaskey.

“That’s the guy we want up at the plate with the game on the line,” said Panthers coach Rich Smelko. “It was a big swing.”

Glenbard North escaped a bases-loaded, no-out situation in the top half of the seventh.

Reliever Chris Slomba entered the game at that point and recorded a strikeout before first baseman Jacob Christman snagged a liner off the bat of Cole Ridgway and doubled off the runner at first to end the threat.

St. Charles East led 4-1 after 2 ½ innings, thanks in part to Nate Moline’s run-scoring single in the first, and RBI from Devin Minarik and Sam Frausto in the second.

Glenbard North cut the deficit in half in the third on Sabalaskey’s RBI double.

Josh Christman worked the first 5 2/3 innings on the mound for the Panthers, allowing 4 runs on 9 hits with a pair of walks and 5 strikeouts.

Christman also benefited from his team’s outfield defense, as center fielder Busco and left fielder Zach Larison threw out Saints’ baserunners at the plate in the third.

Moline, who allowed 2 runs on 4 hits with a pair of strikeouts in 4 innings of work, and sophomore James Feigleson each had 2 hits for the Saints, who had their 4-game winning streak snapped.

“We had some quality at-bats — that was our focus today,” said Saints coach Derek Sutor. “We tried to be aggressive, and they (Panthers) made some plays on us at home.

“That’s the game. At the end of the day, it’s the team that can take advantage of the opportunities they have. Tip your cap to them.”

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