Hogan improves to 7-0 as the Tigers hold off Bradley-Bourbonnais 9-8 in Regional D semifinal
Last updated 6/5/2021 at 1:17am
West Side of Joliet.
IHSA Class 4A Regional D semifinal on Friday afternoon.
Joliet West 9, Bradley-Bourbonnais 8
Boilermaker runner on first base.
Enter Joliet West senior reliever Camden Karczewski.
Karczewski, who is the son of Tigers' head coach John Karczewski, appeared in just his third game of the season on the mound. 3 2/3 innings were all that Karczewski had logged in the 2021 season.
On this day, Karczewski threw one pitch to nail down the save for Tiger sophomore starting pitcher Conner Hogan (7-0).
A laser off the bat of Boilermaker starting, and losing, pitcher Mike Frietas nearly destroyed the glove of Karczewski. A shortstop by trade, he knocked the laser down and fired a strike to his replacement at short for the force out, who fired a strike to first baseman Preston Moore for the 1-6-3, game-ending twin-killing.
"Cam (Karczewski) was pointing to me from short that he wanted to close it out," John Karczewski said. "Cam has done some great things for us this year and I gave him the chance. The pitch was a rocket but he turned it into a game-winning double play and we move on the Regional D Championship game on Monday."
Cam Karczewski picked up his initial save of the season for Hogan, who allowed seven runs, six earned and 10 hits in his 6 1/3, game-winning innings. For Hogan, his seven victories on the mound lead the Enterprise/Bugle Newspapers coverage area.
"I wanted to save the game for my Dad," Camden Karczewski said. "I was not going to blow it."
"I am very happy to be 7-0 right now," Hogan said. "I started the season with hopes of making my teammates proud of me. I believe I have accomplished that."
The Tigers (18-10) jumped out to a 5-0 lead with a solo run in the first inning on a sac-fly from senior Luke Coyl (1-for-3, 2B, 3RBI) and a four-run third inning highlighted by a clutch, two out, two run double from Tiger senior third baseman, Isaac Rios for a 5-0 lead after three.
Tiger freshman James Love (3-for-4, 2 RBI) increased the lead to 7-0 with a one-out, two RBI single in the bottom of the fourth.
Hogan breezed through the first four innings allowing just two Boilermaker (12-17) hits.
A Rios error and a botched pick-off play allowed the Boilermaker (12-17) bats to unload on Hogan.
The Boilermakers scored six runs on seven hits, six hits in succession, to pull within 7-6 with runners on second and third with two out in the top of the fifth.
Bradley-Bourbonnais first baseman Kevin Schrorer ripped a Hogan pitch for a rocket ticketed for the left field corner and an 8-7 Boilermaker lead.
Not so fast.
Rios, making amends for his earlier miscue, made a sensational diving catch over third base for the third out of the inning, with the Tigers clinging to the 7-6 lead.
"It wasn't pretty but we got the job done," Hogan added. "Isaac (Rios) is a fighter. He made an error to start their big inning but he also fought back and found a way to make the game-saving catch to end the inning."
"I tried so hard for Conner," Rios said, "I made the mistake to start the inning and I had to make the do-or-die play to end the inning for Conner. What a performance by Conner.
"I have been struggling at the plate. I had to have a different mindset at the plate today. As a senior, I did not want this to be my last game. I had a good day at the plate to help us win and look forward to Monday's Regional D championship game."
Rios's sac-fly and third RBI of the game extended the Tigers' lead to 8-6 in the bottom of the fifth. In the bottom of the sixth, Coyl drove in his third run of the game with a booming double to give the Tigers the 9-6 lead after six.
Tiger senior Matt "Moose" Starhia (2-for-4, 2B, RBI) relieved Hogan with one out in the seventh and gave up a two-run homer to Boilermaker Zach Star to pull Bradley-Bourbonnais within 9-8.
"Our defense in the fifth inning let Conner (Hogan) down a little bit and he battled through it for us," coach Karczewski said. "Isaac made a mistake to start the fifth inning but he more than made up for it with his game-saving play to end the inning.
"We are just happy to be still playing and look forward to the bus ride to Normal on Monday afternoon."
On Monday at 4:30 p.m., the Tigers will travel to Normal West (19-14) for the Region D Championship Game.
AREA STATE TOURNAMENT SCOREBOARD
DOWNERS GROVE SOUTH 13 MORTON 4
LOCKPORT 21 SHEPARD 4
MAINE SOUTH 14 MAINE EAST 0
MINOOKA 15 JOLIET CENTRAL 0
NILES WEST 17 TAFT 2
Plainfield Central 7 METEA VALLEY 6
PLAINFIELD EAST 6 OSWEGO 3
Plainfield North 12 BOLINGBROOK 11
PLAINFIELD SOUTH 4 BATAVIA 3
ROMEOVILLE 4 NAPERVILLE NORTH 0
ST IGNATIUS 3 DOWERS GROVE NORTH 2
NOTRE DAME 14 GRAYSLAKE NORTH 1
BENET 7 GOOD STEM ACADEMY 0
JOLIET CATHOLIC 15 BEECHER 0
TIMOTHY CHRISTIAN 10 WESTMONT 0