Baseball: Huntley takes FVC lead over Jacobs
Huntley's Ryan Bakes started the game off with a bang, ripping a home run to left field.
Ryan Kelly gave the Red Raiders a crucial boost with a two-run shot in the fifth.
Starter Michael Moise, on a day without his best stuff, battled through tough spots and allowed one earned run through 5 2/3 innings.
It all added up to a 6-2 victory over Jacobs on Monday that gave the Raiders a one-game lead in the Fox Valley Conference standings with two games to play.
Bakes put the Raiders (23-2, 14-2) on top for good when he led off with a home run on a 2-2 curveball from Nathan Cihak.
"A lot of guys are throwing me curveballs to try to get me on my front foot with off-speed," Bakes said. "I was on my front foot, but I was still on time with it. It's always cool to start a game with a home run. It gets everybody going, it always brings energy,"
The Raiders scored on the final play of Friday's 5-4 victory over Jacobs, on Josh Good's two-RBI, pinch-hit single. Then they scored on the first play of Monday's game.
"We were able to grab momentum early, that was important," Raiders coach Andy Jakubowski said. "The Ryan Kelly bomb eased our tension a little bit and we were able to scratch some runs and put the game away."
Kelly homered with one out in the fifth and Huntley leading, 2-1.
"It gave us some insurance and Michael (Moise) could relax on the mound a bit more," Kelly said. "We were able to loosen up a bit and play our game better. I was thinking about driving it in the gap with a man on second and score the run. It felt pretty good off the bat. I put my head down and ran, so I didn't really see it go over."
Bakes and Kelly each drove in three runs to account for the Raiders' scoring.
Moise struck out two, allowed four hits and walked six, but he stranded seven Jacobs runners (three in the second, two each in the fifth and sixth).
"It was definitely a fight," Moise said. "I'm always confident. I'm always going to attack. I was just trying to execute every pitch. You have to focus on the pitch. When we had guys on, we just focused on making that pitch and letting our defense work."
Moise reached 104 pitches, one from the IHSA pitch-count limit, and lefty Michael Vitellero came in with two outs and runners on first and second. Left-handed hitter Joey Fiorenza dropped down a well-place bunt on the first pitch for a hit. Vitellero, who slipped when he picked up the bunt, rushed his throw to first and it sailed wide.
But Vitellero came back on the next hitter, Kyle Washington, who homered in Friday's game, and retired Washington on a fly ball to center field.
"It was 5-2 and we have Washington up there, that was a good spot," Golden Eagles coach Jamie Murray said. "Washington's a swing away from tying this game. You have to give credit to Huntley, they competed for 15 innings over two games. I feel like we did not play our style of baseball we've been playing all year."
The Raiders finish their FVC schedule with two games against Crystal Lake Central. Jacobs (20-6, 13-3) faces Prairie Ridge for its final two FVC games.
"We have to keep pushing," Jakubowski said. "We take nothing for granted. We're going to have to go out and earn it. We're going to get Central's best shot. Jacobs still wants to stay in it and they're going to give Prairie Ridge their best shot."