Baseball: Timothy Christian loses pitchers' duel to Herscher
Timothy Christian senior Jimmy Allen could do nothing more to help his baseball team win on Monday.
Against a powerhouse like Herscher, though, it still wasn't enough.
Allen was masterful in six-plus innings in his lone postseason start on the mound. But in the bottom of the seventh Herscher's Tyler Jarnagin singled home the game's only run in a 1-0 walkoff victory over the Trojans in the Class 2A Benedictine University supersectional in Lisle.
The Trojans' ace, committed to Western Michigan University, dueled pitch-for-pitch with Southern Mississippi-bound Ty Stuart, who dominated with 15 strikeouts in a 4-hitter. Allen struck out 12 while scattering 7 hits.
"At the beginning of the playoffs, we really started to hit our peak," Allen said. "Coming into this game we were confident, and that was key. Obviously we wish we could have won, but we battled them. It was just tough."
Timothy Christian (17-14) nearly pulled off an upset of the Tigers (33-7) in its second straight supersectional appearance. But for the second straight year the Trojans fell just short.
Luke Engelman led off the bottom of the seventh with a double, then pinch-runner Reece Harrod stole third. With runners on first and third and one out, Jarnagin singled to right field against a drawn-in defense to end it.
"I just saw fastball right down the middle and it kind of stung," Jarnagin said. "I think I got jammed, but I had enough momentum to get it past the first baseman. The pressure just kept building and building. We just had to stay within ourselves."
The Trojans loaded the bases but couldn't score in the top of the third, and Allen led off the sixth with a double. Both times Stuart emerged unscathed.
Herscher put runners in scoring position in three innings, including a bases-loaded situation with two outs in the fifth. A failed suicide squeeze attempt ended the fifth-inning threat when Trojans catcher Connor Gwaltney tagged out the runner trying to score.
Allen is one of seven seniors who helped bring unprecedented success to Timothy Christian's program -- three straight regional titles and two straight sectional crowns.
"(Allen) was awesome today," said Trojans coach Jim Snoeyink. "I just told our guys that they're an outstanding team, but we just need to be better than them today. It was just a matter of if we were going to score a run, and we didn't. We just happened to come out on the short end."
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