Yorkville survives valiant Tigers 11-10 to take home Class 4A Plainfield North Regional championship
Last updated 6/9/2021 at 1:03am
On Tuesday in their 2021 IHSA Class 4A Plainfield North Regional championship game, the host Tigers trailed their Southwest Prairie Conference West rivals from Yorkville 11-5.
The regional championship game moved to the Tigers' bottom of the seventh.
Yorkville took two of the three SPC West games in the regular season and on Tuesday unleashed an 11-run, 13-hit attack on the Tiger pitching staff for the 11-5 lead.
The Tigers loaded the bases with one out when junior Brandon Bak hammered a shot that appeared to be heading over the head of Yorkville centerfielder Cole Yearsley (2-for-4, HR, 3RBI) for a bases-clearing double at least.
Yearsley, who In the second inning put the Foxes up 4-2 with a three-run homer, made a improbable, over the shoulder catch for the second out of the inning. On the play Tiger senior Dom Curcio, who walked to lead off the seventh, scored to pull the Tigers within 11-6 on Bak's sacrifice fly.
After two outs, the Tigers pulled within 11-8 on a booming, two-run double from senior Alex Brodie. Senior Noah Dutler's RBI single made it 11-9 Yorkville. And when Curcio, in his second at bat of the inning, was plunked with the bases loaded, the Tigers were within 11-10.
Senior Aidan Campbell hit a smash that Yorkville first baseman Kyle Mack stabbed and beat Campbell to first base.
The putout ended the game and the 2021 season for the valiant Tigers (17-12).
In the first inning, Ryan Nelson, one of four sophomores in the Tigers' starting lineup, hammered his fourth home run of the season to give North its only lead of the game, 2-1 after one inning.
After the Foxes (16-13) grabbed a 5-2 lead, another of the talented Tiger sophomores, Luke Brown, pulled the Tigers within 5-4 with a two-run bomb to right in the third inning.
Yorkville opened up a 9-5 lead after six innings and scored two runs in the top of the seventh for the 11-5 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh inning.
In 2022 the Tigers will be led by Bak, their top retuning pitcher and hitter. He will be joined by felllow junior Dylan Evans behind the plate. Junior catcher Matt Barriball, who saw plenty of action behind the dish, returns as well.
Sophomores Ryan Nelson, Luke Brown and John St. Clair are set to return from the starting lineup.
"It was a great season playing with these guys," Brown said. "I thought I had a home run in my first at bat tonight and I knew I hit the two-run homer in the third. We have a lot of people returning and 2022 should be a fun year."
"Yorkville battled and we battled and in the end it was a baseball game," Bak said. "I'm really going to miss our outstanding seniors. I hope they come back and see us next year."
"Yorkville hit the ball. We have to pitch better," Plainfield North coach John Darlington said. "I am proud of the way we didn't quit and rallied in the seventh. We were one hit away from pulling the game out. We had some missed opportunities to do well in the conference, this season. Not playing last season put us behind but we will be alright. We have really enjoyed coaching this great group of kids. They did everything we asked them to do.
"We have a number of position players and some good young arms returning - the Tigers may be back in 2022."