Baseball: Swanson shuts out Streamwood, gives Grant regional championship
Grant's Cinderella run continued while Streamwood's dream season came to an end on the west side of Elgin Saturday.
Behind the pitching of Jake Swanson and some timely hitting, the Bulldogs shut down the Sabres 4-0 to win the Class 4A Larkin regional.
Grant will play Thursday in the Dundee-Crown sectional against the Harlem-Hononegah winner.
Swanson allowed only 2 hits while going the distance. He allowed just 6 baserunners through 6 innings, which included 2 errors and an intentional walk.
His GPS malfunctioned briefly in the seventh as the Sabres loaded the bases on 2 walks and a hit batter. That brought the tying run to the plate in the form of No. 3 hitter Chris Lara. He worked the count full before Swanson reached back and blew a fastball by him for the final out.
A conference on the mound preceded Lara's at-bat. With Swanson nearing his pitch limit, it looked like he might be through for the day. But he was having none of it.
"I was not coming out of that game," he insisted. "You'd have to pry me out of that game. One hundred percent. They were going to have to come out and physically carry me to the dugout."
Swanson got all the support he needed in the second inning when Cole Bush drove in Connor Mirocha, who had been hit by a pitch leading off the inning.
After that, Streamwood starter Miguel Rodriguez shut down the Bulldogs until he ran into trouble in the sixth.
Adrian Medina singled in a run and 2 more scored on an error to give the Bulldogs a cushion,
With the win, Grant moved over .500 at 17-16, continuing its improbable playoff run.
"We started out the year really poorly but we stuck together and got through it," said Swanson. "I was on the mound year last year for the regional final and lost it and all those guys were here today. And so I wanted to do it for them and I wanted to do it for my seniors. It's the first time playing with them because I've always been on varsity. It was great."
For Streamwood (25-10-1) the season came to an abrupt end.
The Sabres got their leadoff man in 5 innings, but could never bring him around. Lara and Austin Paskewic had the Sabres' only 2 hits.
"We had runners on base, we just didn't get those hits; a lot of pop-ups," said Streamwood assistant coach Joel Gamino. "I told the guys before the seventh inning, 'What are we about? Are we gonna fight back?' And we fought back.
"The pitcher pitched pretty well. I thought we were going to get to him eventually, and it just never happened."