Baseball: Haman's double caps Fremd's comeback win over Palatine
Fremd made the most of its last strike.
Three times Wednesday at Palatine, Fremd was down to its last strike. Each time the Vikings reached base, including a windblown double by Brett Haman to score the eventual winning run as Fremd rallied to beat Palatine 4-3 in Mid-Suburban West baseball action.
"I was just trying to protect the plate," said Haman, who was inserted into the game in the third inning to replace Matt Wingen who was hit by a pitch.
"The first two pitches didn't go my way. But I battled back. I had to get it done for the team. I was surprised when it went over his head."
Haman's hit carried to left field, scoring both TJ Davis and Charlie Towns. Both of them had walked after facing a possible third strike.
"I thought that TJ and Charlie had real good at-bats," Said Fremd coach Chris Piggott, whose team won its sixth game in a row.
"They laid off some tough pitches. Then Brett, with two strikes, put the ball in play and that is all we can ask from him."
Fremd (8-6, 4-0) took a 2-0 lead in the third.
Davis led off with a long home run to left. Wingen was hit in the chin and was replaced by Haman, who moved to second on a single by Nicky Rattin. Haman then scored on Brent Swenson's single to center.
Palatine (8-9-1, 2-2) played tremendous defense. The Pirates turned 3 double plays and had a pair of spectacular catches by Luka Popovic in center field.
Palatine was then able to take advantage of a pair of Fremd miscues to take a 3-2 lead in the sixth.
Fremd pitcher Victor Fujiu had entered the inning allowing just 1 hit while striking out 6.
"I was able to keep us in the game," said Fuji, who would fan eight but walk five. "But I put some guys on."
Palatine got a pair of runners on to lead off the sixth when Jake Andersen was hit by a pitch and Jack Betz walked.
Shailan Rajpurkar dropped down a bunt to advance the runners. Fremd attempted to get the runner at third and the ball bounced in the dirt and rolled far down the third-base line, scoring both runners and Rajpurkar ended up on third on another throwing error. He then scored on Ryan Dysangco's sacrifice fly.
"Both teams had some issues in the sixth and seventh," Piggott said. "There were walks and errors that hurt both teams."
Alex Bischoff came on in relief in the seventh for Fremd. After a leadoff walk, Bischoff had a pair of fielders choices that moved the runner to second. Bischoff then secured the win with a strikeout.
"Other than the first batter, I thought I did well," Bischoff said. "These are the best games to come into. I knew we had first base open, I tried not to give him anything to hit and pitch to him."
Palatine coach Paul Belo said the plays at the end of the game settled the contest.
"We were able to play some little ball and that worked out to our advantage," Belo said. "We just made an inexperienced play on that fly ball."