Baseball: South Elgin answers Schaumburg's challenges
Any baseball elevated into the 20-mph wind blowing straight out to left field at Schaumburg High School Wednesday had a chance to clear the fence.
That made South Elgin's ability to tack on runs after Schaumburg rallies the key to a 10-5 Class 4A regional semifinal victory.
No. 3 South Elgin (25-5) scored 3 first-inning runs and 2 in the third to stake senior right-hander Joey Teschke to a 5-0 cushion.
When No. 16 Schaumburg (11-21) scored 3 fourth-inning runs to trim the deficit to 5-3 -- fueled by Vince D'Orazio's 2-run home run to left -- the Storm answered with 3 runs in the bottom of the fourth, highlighted by Austin Doty's 2-run bomb to left center.
When the Saxons drew within 8-5 in the top of the sixth inning on run-scoring hits by Yuki Sato and Joe Unger, the Upstate Eight Conference champions answered in the bottom half with a 2-run Garrett Wano single to restore their 5-run lead.
"You have to do that in state baseball," South Elgin coach Jim Kating said of adding runs. "I'm proud that they persevered. I'm proud that they scraped a little bit."
South Elgin advances to the regional final on Saturday at 11 a.m. against either No. 6 Batavia (18-13) or No. 11 Lake Park (17-16).
"It feels good to back there again," said Doty, a .405 hitter who ripped his third home run. "A lot of us have been there before."
Teschke improved to 6-0 and lowered his earned-run average to 2.19 despite pitching into a stiff wind that blew the cap off his head during seven deliveries. He held the Saxons to 3 runs (2 earned) on 7 hits and 2 walks.
"For the most part I was keeping it low, keeping it in the park and just letting my team make plays," Teschke said after a 4-strikeout performance.
Junior reliever Joey Haslam bailed Teschke out of trouble with the Storm leading 8-3 in the fifth. Schaumburg put runners at second and third with no outs. Haslam entered and induced a sharply hit groundball to third baseman Wano. He tagged out the runner caught off the base for the first out. Haslam proceeded to strike out the Saxons' Nos. 6-7 hitters to escape.
Haslam loaded the bases in the seventh inning for Schaumburg sophomore pinch hitter Justin Gadomski, who on Monday belted a 2-run, pinch-hit, walk-off home run to beat Marmion 2-0. Haslam induced a harmless fly out to center fielder Doty to end the game.
"You have to just keep the ball low," said Haslam, who allowed 2 earned runs on 5 hits and a walk and struck out 3 in 3 innings. "I did a decent job of that but a lot of balls got up in the air and I was kind of lucky they got under some of them."
Schaumburg outhit the Storm 12-9 but could not pull off the upset despite three rally attempts.
"That's been us all season," Schaumburg coach Cal Seely said. "We didn't have the greatest overall record, but these guys never stopped trying. They are always out there until the very end. We didn't pull it off, but it was a good effort."
Tyler Robinson and Albert Kiszka each finished with 2 hits for the Saxons. Grant Baker hit a 2-run double to stake South Elgin to a 2-0 lead, and sophomore Clay Kapraun and junior Grayson Downing tripled for the Storm.