Baseball: St. Charles North's youth prevails in sectional final vs. Elk Grove

  • St. Charles North's Johnny Lambert (14) is mobbed by teammates after their win over Elk Grove Saturday in the Class 4A Glenbard West sectional final at Village Green Park in Glen Ellyn.

      St. Charles North's Johnny Lambert (14) is mobbed by teammates after their win over Elk Grove Saturday in the Class 4A Glenbard West sectional final at Village Green Park in Glen Ellyn. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Elk Grove's coach Terry Beyna and his son Tanner, 10, head to the line up after their loss Saturday during IHSA sectional final baseball at Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn at Village Green Park.

      Elk Grove's coach Terry Beyna and his son Tanner, 10, head to the line up after their loss Saturday during IHSA sectional final baseball at Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn at Village Green Park. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Elk Grove's coach Terry Beyna and his son Tanner, 10, head to the line up after their loss Saturday during IHSA sectional final baseball at Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn at Village Green Park.

      Elk Grove's coach Terry Beyna and his son Tanner, 10, head to the line up after their loss Saturday during IHSA sectional final baseball at Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn at Village Green Park. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Elk Grove's coach Terry Beyna and his son Tanner, 10, head to the line up after their loss Saturday during IHSA sectional final baseball at Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn at Village Green Park.

      Elk Grove's coach Terry Beyna and his son Tanner, 10, head to the line up after their loss Saturday during IHSA sectional final baseball at Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn at Village Green Park. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Elk Grove's Ryne Singsank (25) Saturday during IHSA sectional final baseball at Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn at Village Green Park.

      Elk Grove's Ryne Singsank (25) Saturday during IHSA sectional final baseball at Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn at Village Green Park. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Elk Grove's Nick Hofmann (1) Saturday during IHSA sectional final baseball at Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn at Village Green Park.

      Elk Grove's Nick Hofmann (1) Saturday during IHSA sectional final baseball at Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn at Village Green Park. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Elk Grove's coach Terry Beyna argues a controversial play Saturday during IHSA sectional final baseball at Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn at Village Green Park.

      Elk Grove's coach Terry Beyna argues a controversial play Saturday during IHSA sectional final baseball at Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn at Village Green Park. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Elk Grove's Josh Periaswamy (13) and Connor Rogers (27) collide as they try to catch a controversial pop up just into the beginning of right field Saturday during IHSA sectional final baseball at Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn at Village Green Park.

      Elk Grove's Josh Periaswamy (13) and Connor Rogers (27) collide as they try to catch a controversial pop up just into the beginning of right field Saturday during IHSA sectional final baseball at Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn at Village Green Park. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Elk Grove's Josh Periaswamy (13) and Connor Rogers (27) collide as they try to catch a controversial pop up just into the beginning of right field Saturday during IHSA sectional final baseball at Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn at Village Green Park.

      Elk Grove's Josh Periaswamy (13) and Connor Rogers (27) collide as they try to catch a controversial pop up just into the beginning of right field Saturday during IHSA sectional final baseball at Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn at Village Green Park. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • St. Charles North's Zach Kempe delivers a pitch against Elk Grove Saturday.

      St. Charles North's Zach Kempe delivers a pitch against Elk Grove Saturday. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Elk Grove's Nick Hofmann (1) and Shane Crimmins (6) celebrate a nice play by Hofmann Saturday during IHSA sectional final baseball at Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn at Village Green Park.

      Elk Grove's Nick Hofmann (1) and Shane Crimmins (6) celebrate a nice play by Hofmann Saturday during IHSA sectional final baseball at Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn at Village Green Park. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • St. Charles North's Patrick Bellock (5) Saturday during IHSA sectional final baseball at Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn at Village Green Park.

      St. Charles North's Patrick Bellock (5) Saturday during IHSA sectional final baseball at Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn at Village Green Park. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • St. Charles North's John Hamer (4) Saturday during IHSA sectional final baseball at Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn at Village Green Park.

      St. Charles North's John Hamer (4) Saturday during IHSA sectional final baseball at Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn at Village Green Park. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • St. Charles North's Egon Hein (1) tries unsuccessfully to reach a line drive Saturday during IHSA sectional final baseball at Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn at Village Green Park.

      St. Charles North's Egon Hein (1) tries unsuccessfully to reach a line drive Saturday during IHSA sectional final baseball at Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn at Village Green Park. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Elk Grove's Zach Schwartz (8) makes a catch behind the plate Saturday during IHSA sectional final baseball at Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn at Village Green Park.

      Elk Grove's Zach Schwartz (8) makes a catch behind the plate Saturday during IHSA sectional final baseball at Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn at Village Green Park. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Elk Grove's Nick Hofmann (1) and Elk Grove's Ryne Singsank (25) celebrate a run that scored after passed ball Saturday during IHSA sectional final baseball at Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn at Village Green Park.

      Elk Grove's Nick Hofmann (1) and Elk Grove's Ryne Singsank (25) celebrate a run that scored after passed ball Saturday during IHSA sectional final baseball at Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn at Village Green Park. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • St. Charles North's John Hamer (4) puts a tag on Elk Grove's Bobby Balzano (4) during a run down along the third base line Saturday during IHSA sectional final baseball at Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn at Village Green Park.

      St. Charles North's John Hamer (4) puts a tag on Elk Grove's Bobby Balzano (4) during a run down along the third base line Saturday during IHSA sectional final baseball at Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn at Village Green Park. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • St. Charles North's Michael Gattuso (3) reels in a shot by Elk Grove's Matt Crimmins (11) Saturday during IHSA sectional final baseball at Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn at Village Green Park.

      St. Charles North's Michael Gattuso (3) reels in a shot by Elk Grove's Matt Crimmins (11) Saturday during IHSA sectional final baseball at Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn at Village Green Park. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Elk Grove's Nick Hofmann (1) tries to grab a line drive up the middle Saturday during IHSA sectional final baseball at Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn at Village Green Park.

      Elk Grove's Nick Hofmann (1) tries to grab a line drive up the middle Saturday during IHSA sectional final baseball at Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn at Village Green Park. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Elk Grove's coach Terry Beyna Saturday during IHSA sectional final baseball at Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn at Village Green Park.

      Elk Grove's coach Terry Beyna Saturday during IHSA sectional final baseball at Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn at Village Green Park. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Elk Grove's Bobby Balzano (4) Saturday during IHSA sectional final baseball at Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn at Village Green Park.

      Elk Grove's Bobby Balzano (4) Saturday during IHSA sectional final baseball at Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn at Village Green Park. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • St. Charles North's Alex Najera (13) scores as the throw gets past Elk Grove's Zach Schwartz (8) Saturday during IHSA sectional final baseball at Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn at Village Green Park.

      St. Charles North's Alex Najera (13) scores as the throw gets past Elk Grove's Zach Schwartz (8) Saturday during IHSA sectional final baseball at Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn at Village Green Park. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • St. Charles North's Johnny Lambert (14) Saturday during IHSA sectional final baseball at Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn at Village Green Park.

      St. Charles North's Johnny Lambert (14) Saturday during IHSA sectional final baseball at Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn at Village Green Park. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • St. Charles North's Kyler Brown slides safely past the tag of Elk Grove's Zach Schwartz.

      St. Charles North's Kyler Brown slides safely past the tag of Elk Grove's Zach Schwartz. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • St. Charles North's Johnny Lambert (14) is mobbed by teammates after their win Saturday during IHSA sectional final baseball at Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn at Village Green Park.

      St. Charles North's Johnny Lambert (14) is mobbed by teammates after their win Saturday during IHSA sectional final baseball at Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn at Village Green Park. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • St. Charles North's Johnny Lambert (14) celebrates after throwing the last pitch of the game against Elk Grove Saturday during IHSA sectional final baseball at Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn at Village Green Park.

      St. Charles North's Johnny Lambert (14) celebrates after throwing the last pitch of the game against Elk Grove Saturday during IHSA sectional final baseball at Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn at Village Green Park. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • St. Charles North's Michael Gattuso (3) pulls in a shot to right field by Elk Grove's Nick Hofmann (1) Saturday during IHSA sectional final baseball at Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn at Village Green Park.

      St. Charles North's Michael Gattuso (3) pulls in a shot to right field by Elk Grove's Nick Hofmann (1) Saturday during IHSA sectional final baseball at Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn at Village Green Park. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • St. Charles North's Michael Gattuso (3) scores on a wild pitch Saturday during IHSA sectional final baseball at Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn at Village Green Park.

      St. Charles North's Michael Gattuso (3) scores on a wild pitch Saturday during IHSA sectional final baseball at Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn at Village Green Park. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Elk Grove's Josh Periaswamy (13) Saturday during IHSA sectional final baseball at Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn at Village Green Park.

      Elk Grove's Josh Periaswamy (13) Saturday during IHSA sectional final baseball at Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn at Village Green Park. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 6/1/2019 4:42 PM

Relying on a starting lineup that includes four sophomores and a pair of juniors, St. Charles North's baseball team has literally come of age this season.

And the North Stars' season isn't finished yet.

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Johnny Lambert and John Hamer combined to pitch 5 innings of scoreless relief while Kyler Brown delivered a game-tying RBI double and later scored on a groundout during a 2-run fourth that propelled the 2nd-seeded North Stars (27-10) to a 4-2 Class 4A Glenbard West sectional championship victory over 9th-seeded Elk Grove (20-13) Saturday at Don Burns Field in Glen Ellyn.

With the win -- the school's second sectional title since the 2016 team placed third in the state -- St. Charles North advances to Monday's 7:30 p.m. supersectional clash against Plainfield Central (23-9) at Standard Bank Stadium in Crestwood.

"With so many young kids at the start of the year, we had a lot of decisions to make," said North Stars coach Todd Genke, who collected his 400th victory of his 15-year career. "It's a credit to them. They stepped up and put in the time and work.

"We realized they had the potential to help get us to something like this. I'm so happy for these 25 guys."

For the second straight postseason game, the North Stars were forced to rally after Zach Schwartz's RBI single put Elk Grove on top 1-0 in the first.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

In the third, the Grenadiers took a 2-1 lead on an errant pickoff attempt at second that rolled under the outfielder's glove, allowing Ryne Singsank to score.

The North Stars survived further damage, however, thanks in part to a failed suicide squeeze bunt and Hamer's inning-ending strikeout.

"It was unfortunate it (pickoff play) happened but we got the guy out in the rundown on the very next play and momentum completely switched," said Hamer, who picked up the win in relief of sophomore starter Zach Kempe.

An inning later, the North Stars took the lead for good.

After Marco Torres' leadoff walk, Brown laced an 0-2 pitch to deep left-center for a double, driving in courtesy runner Alex Najera to tie the game at 2-2.

"I've been waiting all year for that opportunity -- the season hasn't been going my way," said Brown. "I was due."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"We actually had the bunt on for the first two pitches," said Genke. "We have five kids on this team who played in the state championship game in football -- Kyler being one of them. He stepped up in a big way."

As did Lambert, who retired 9 of the 11 batters he faced during the final 3 innings, including the game's final out.

"I'm getting used to it," said the sidearm throwing southpaw, who tossed 3 ½ scoreless frames during the North Stars' 8-2 sectional semifinal win over Lake Park last Wednesday. "I just tried to keep pounding the zone and letting my teammates make plays for me."

"Johnny (Lambert) has been unbelievable," said Genke. "We knew with their four left-handed hitters in the lineup that he was going to get in at some point."

Singsank suffered the loss for Elk Grove, which was aiming for its first sectional crown since 2006.

"We had our shot," said Elk Grove coach Terry Beyna, whose teams posted a 351-324-1 mark during a 20-year coaching career that came to a close Saturday. "I'm looking at the scoreboard and we outhit them, 7-5. It just came down to some little things. They were a little better than us today.

"It has been a great ride. There's a lot of great memories."

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