Baseball: Huntley edges Cary-Grove in 10 innings
Huntley catcher Brandon Hanley ripped a line drive to left field, rounded first base and waited for the crowd to arrive.
As soon as Tyler Castro slid across home plate, the Red Raiders sprinted to meet Hanley and celebrate their 3-2, 10-inning victory over Cary-Grove on Tuesday in their Fox Valley Conference game.
Castro had singled with one out in the 10th, moved to second on Ryan Bakes' walk and then raced home without a play on Hanley's single.
"I'm trying to go up there clear-minded," Hanley said. "It was a really tough game. Cary played really well today. Our boys stayed in the fight to the end. I just went up there looking for a strike, trying to put the ball in play and move runners over.
"It was a great feeling, that's for sure. I'm real proud about how these guys fought, everyone did their job."
And no one better than C.J. Filipek, who pinch hit with two outs in the seventh, trailing by a run. Filipek, a left-handed hitter, hit a line drive to left field to score Brayden Bakes, who doubled to lead off the inning, and tie the score at 2-2.
"I was thinking to myself, 'I got this. This is my time to shine. This is where I do best,'" Filipek said. "To me, it felt like just another at-bat."
Freshman Malachi Paplanus pitched scoreless seventh and eighth innings for the Raiders (18-1, 9-1 FVC), escaping first-and-third situations in both innings. Jake Jakubowski worked the final two innings for the win.
"It was a great high school baseball game," said Huntley assistant coach Derek Morehart, who was filling in for head coach Andy Jakubowski, who had taken a couple personal days. "C.J. earned that moment and really clutched it up for us. We needed someone to clutch it up. We've been working on putting the ball in play and forcing other teams to make plays in the field, and Cary was great tonight."
C-G (4-6, 4-6) played errorless defense behind Bobby Jannusch, who had his best start with six strikeouts in six innings, and reliever Brett Green, who threw a strong 3 1/3 innings.
"Bobby was the best I've seen him yet," Trojans coach Ryan Passaglia said. "He was hitting spots. He kept us in the game. The other thing that kept us in the game was our defense. We made some fantastic plays, Dane Schuster was great at second base.
"We pitched great, played great defense, we're still waiting on our offense to get going. We've been struggling to score runs, but it'll come. We're staying positive."
C-G had a 2-1 lead with a pair of unearned runs. Nathan Splitt drove in his younger brother Toby in the second inning. Jason Splitt reached on an error and scored on another error in the third.
Jannusch faced the minimum of batters from the end of the third inning through the sixth.
"We have a great team and I love playing with them," Hanley said. "Cary-Grove's pitcher (Jannusch) did well and our guy, Michael (Moise) did well too. Our bullpen guys always do great. I think we have the best staff in the state."