Bengals, Bailey rally past Plainfield Central 4-3, for SPC East series winner
Last updated 4/30/2021 at 8:12am
Plainfield East senior catcher Mike Bailey loves to swing the bat against his Bengals' rivals from Plainfield Central.
In Tuesday's 13-2 Bengals Southwest Prairie Conference East, the middle game of three game series victory, Bailey drove home seven runs. Plainfield Central won 13-3 on Monday in the series opener.
In the rubber game Thursday on Plainfield's East Side, Bailey had a single in three at bats against Central ace, junior Carter Prochaska.
In the East bottom of the sixth, with Plainfield Central up 3-1, Prochaska walked a pair of Bengals and with two out, a Wildcat miscue loaded the bases. That ended the day for the Wildcat ace and junior Josh Stratton entered the game. It was Stratton's first appearance of the season.
Bengal starting pitcher, and lead off man, Brady Louck (1-for-3, BB,RBI) forced in a Bengal run with a four-pitch walk, pulling the Bengals within 3-2.
Wildcat-killer Bailey was next and ripped the first pitch into left field for a clutch, two-out, two RBI, single to put the Bengals up 4-3. Scoring on Bailey's eventual game-winning hit were senior Gavin Schmitt who had walked and Caden Dyhr, who reached base on the Wildcat miscue.
Bengals senior right-hander Reid Erickson (2IP, 0R, 0H,0ER,2K), who had relieved Louck in the sixth, finished off the Wildcats in the seventh to pick up the 4-3 victory on the mound.
"My defense played great behind me tonight," Erickson said. "What a great come-back victory for us and it also gives a the SPC East series win."
"I love hitting against lefties" Bailey said. "After Stratton had walked Brady (Louck) on four pitches, I knew he would throw a first-pitch fastball. And I crushed it for the game-winning hit. Wow! What a great come-from-behind victory and it fees so good!"
The game featured two of the state's best, young pitchers, Plainfield Central's junior Prochaska and East sophomore, Louck.
Plainfield Central (5-5,1-2) got on the board first on an RBI single from Josh Cunniff, driving in Jack Irwin, who had led off the game with a single. The run was unearned due to Bengal miscue in the inning.
In the Wildcat third, senior Nate Buhan crushed an RBI double scoring senior Spencer Ruch, who had walked, for a 2-0 'Cat lead. Senior Nate Sommerfeld made it 3-0 Central on a perfect suicide squeeze bunt single, scoring Cunniff.
The Bengals picked up an unearned run in the bottom of the third inning on a bases loaded walk for junior Jake Eason, forcing in Louck with the Bengals first run, who had reached on an error.
Louck allowed two earned runs and four hits in his five innings of work on the mound, while striking out 10 and walking two.
"It feels great to get the come-from behind win tonight," Louck said. "My fastball was my best pitch tonight. I had to battle tonight on the mound."
Prochaska (2-1) allowed seven hits and no earned runs in his 5 2/3 innings of work, striking out 10 and walking three.
"Carter (Prochaska) gave us everything tonight." Plainfield Central coach John Rosner said. "We played great defense all night and then we make one defensive mistake that ends up hurting us. But that's baseball. What hurt us most of all was the fact we did not hit. What did we have, four hits?"
"Mike Bailey is a grinder," Plainfield East coach Adam O'Reel. "Mike has been in our system since he was a sophomore and has worked so hard and is seeing his hard work pay off this season. It's amazing what Brady (Louck) can do for us in all phases of the game. Heck, he's just a sophomore.
"What a job by Reid (Erickson) in relief of Brody tonight. As a sophomore Reid was in our rotation and has not complained about having to pitch out of the pen this season. Reid has done an outstanding job for us on the mound but he really he has to work on his putting for his golf game to improve."