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By Drake Skleba
For the Bugle 

Indians hold off Plainfield North 2-1 in SPC West showdown victory

Win No. 400 for Jeff Petrovic

 

Last updated 5/3/2021 at 10:23pm



Great pitching. Solid defense. Clutch hitting.

For 17 years, Minooka High School varsity baseball coach Jeff Petrovic has been teaching these fundamental elements of baseball to his Indians.

On Monday, in a crucial Southwest Prairie Conference West Division showdown, Petrovic's SPC West-leading Indians (7-4, 4-0) defeated the No. 2 ranked Tigers of Plainfield North, 2-1.

Great pitching.

Indians senior right-handed pitcher Kyle Walter (2-1) allowed one run, scattered seven hits and struck out eight Tigers in his game-winning 6 1/3 innings on the mound. Walter hit the mandatory IHSA 105 pitch-count limit with one out in the Tigers seventh. Indians football quarterback-baseball closer Josh Davis came in and get the last two outs to nail down the save for Walter.

"My fastball was my best pitch but I changed speeds well to be successful," Walter said. "I was coming off a bad start at Oswego East and I felt I atoned for that bad start, today."

"Kyle (Walter) pitched great for us tonight as he has all season" Davis said. "I had to nail down the save for him. I threw my fastball for strikes to nail down the huge save."

Solid defense.

For the Indians on Monday, it started behind the plate from Indians football star running back, who can catch, too, Hunter Ryan.

Clinging to a 2-1 lead in the Plainfield North top of the fifth, Ryan provided a prime example of solid defense.

The fleet-footed Tigers senior Alex Brodie (1-for-3) was on first base with one out. Brodie got a great jump off first base off Walter, attempting to steal second base and get the tying run in scoring position. Ryan fired a laser to shortstop Caleb Parker right on the bag and Parker tagged the amazed Brodie for the second out of the inning. Walter picked up a strikeout to end the Tigers fifth.

Clutch hitting.

In the bottom of the first, the Indians had the bases loaded with two outs in a scoreless game. The red-hot hitting Indian sophomore Sully Minor had a 1-1 count. Minor provided an excellent example of clutch hitting.

Minor ripped a clutch two-out, two-run single to right for the eventual game-winning hit for a 2-0 Indians lead. A prime example of clutch hitting.

"I went up to the plate looking to hit the ball hard and get the runs home," Minor said. "I had a 1-1 count and I got a curve ball and took it to right for the huge two-out, two run single in the first inning."

For Plainfield North (8-2, 2-2) starting pitcher Brandon Bak threw a four-hitter at the Indians with seven strikeouts. Both Indian runs were unearned.

"I had a bad start at Oswego and I'm very happy with the way I threw the ball, today" Bak said. "I used a fastball/change-up combo early and in the late innings. I went with off-speed stuff to keep them off balance. Minooka was just a little better today. We are confident that we'll get them tomorrow at home."

"Both pitchers were outstanding today," North coach John Darlington said. "A classic high school baseball game. We will do our best to get them tomorrow at our place."

Great pitching. Solid defense. Clutch hitting.

Win No.400 Jeff Petrovic.

With all of the above elements of Petrovic's valuable coaching lessons, this outstanding Illinois high school baseball game was, appropriately, win No, 400 for Jeff Petrovic in his illustrious Minooka coaching career.

"To have the success I have had here at Minooka High School starts with the great kids I have had the honor to coach," Petrovic said. "The great kids are a reflecton of their outstanding parents. That extends to the Minooka community and beyond. I love Minooka High School. I love the Village of Minooka. I would not want to coach anywhere else.

"What a great baseball game. John's (Darlington) kid on the mound (Bak) was outstanding. Kyle (Walter) and Josh (Davis) were outstanding for us. Hunter (Ryan) has been outstanding for us behind the plate all season and our sophomore, Sully Minor, came up with the game-winning hit. We have to go up to North tomorrow. We know John's Tigers are angry and will be waiting for us."

 

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