Baseball: Alport helps Buffalo Grove down Barrington for MSL crown
Buffalo Grove's Jack Alport slammed the door shut on Barrington and helped deliver the Bison a championship.
Alport came on in relief and got the Bison out of a bases-loaded jam in the fifth inning Monday afternoon as BG held off Barrington 4-3 in the Mid-Suburban League championship game before an estimated 1,000 baseball-hungry fans at Barrington.
"This was our goal from day one," said Alport, who picked up the win for the Bison last Wednesday over Prospect to enable Buffalo Grove to win the MSL East.
"We didn't look good at the start of the season. But we hit a groove and stuck with it and today was a great day."
Alport, a junior, entered the game in the fifth with the Bison leading 4-2. Barrington had loaded the bases thanks to a single by Ryan Koehler, including a pair of bunt singles by Evan Jon-Baptiste and Ryan Jenkins.
"I was ready to go," Alport said. "It was tough, but I knew I had a great defense behind me. I have a lot of confidence with the team behind me."
Facing the 3-4-5 hitters in Bronco order, Alport got an infield pop out, a strike out and then a foul pop out that he caught himself to end the Barrington threat.
Alport would then strand a runner at third in the sixth and give up a 2-out homer to Jenkins before getting another infield pop out, the fifth of his stint, to end the game.
The Bison (16-10) continued an amazing streak. After beginning the season 2-9, Buffalo Grove has won 14 of its last 15 games. The lone defeat during the streak was a 1-0 loss to Schaumburg in which Alport threw only 65 pitches.
"He makes us look good as coaches," said first-year Buffalo Grove coach Bill Montemayor, who is getting married in just under 3 weeks and got an early wedding gift from his team.
"We are just having fun playing together. And it was great to so all the guys here. This is a great win for our program and our fans."
Buffalo Grove scrambled for a run in the first two innings to take a 2-0 lead.
Connor Thiessen singled, went to second on a wild pitch, advanced to third on a fielder's choice and then scored on Tristan Figus' fielder's choice for the first run. Matt Wolverton reached on a dropped third strike. He would then advance on a pair of fielder's choices and then score on a wild pitch.
Barrington (20-3), which was in the title game for the seventh time under coach Pat Wire, danced its way to a pair of runs in its half of the second.
Nick Lawson walked and went to third on a single by JD Swarbrick and would then score on a wild pitch. Swarbrick would later score on a balk to tie the game at 2-2.
Buffalo Grove, which will host Hersey on Friday in the state playoffs, took the lead for good in it half of the fifth.
Thiessen ripped a double to the gap to drive in courtesy runner Seth Pomerantz, who came in for eventual wining pitcher Luc Rotondo, who had walked to lead off the inning.
"We got clutch hits when we needed them today," said Thiessen, who was 2-for-4 with 2 runs scored. "It was great and we are having so much fun out there."
Figus followed with a single to right as the speedy Thiessen beat the throw to the plate to make it 4-2.
"The energy we have is crazy," Figus said. "We are playing every game like it is our last. We are really coming though. We played pretty much a picture-perfect ballgame today."
Buffalo Grove's Kyle Brosnahan and Swarbrick each had 3 hits for their team.
"We just played a little tight and they played with everything and let it rip," said Wire, whose team will host McHenry on Friday in the state playoffs.
"If it is worth the sacrifice to learn that lesson and go forth in the playoffs, I'll take that every day. That is the lesson learned here."