Panthers’ 8-2 loss snaps 15-game winning streak
BLOOMINGTON — The Ottawa Marquette Crusaders baseball team fell behind and had a tough time getting things to click into place May 26 in the championship game of the Illinois Wesleyan Class 1A Sectional at Jack Horenberger Field.
Senior Michael Killelea delivered the go-ahead, two-run single in the bottom of the third inning and freshman winning pitcher Shane Reynolds working four shutout innings of relief in Marquette’s 8-2, title-winning victory over rival Putnam County.
Putnam County (22-9-1) saw its season come to an end after leading 2-0 through a half inning and 2-1 until the Cru took control in the third.
The Panthers scored their two runs in the first inning while Marquette scored one run in the first, three in the third and four in the fourth to defeat the Panthers for the third time this year.
Caleb Dzierzynski was the losing pitcher for the Panthers, going 5.2 innings, allowing 11 hits, striking out seven and walking two batters. Jacob Williams pitched one-third of an inning.
Nolan Whitney, Luke Olson and Jakob Pyszka had the Panthers’ three hits. Dzierzynski and Brayden Holmes scored the two runs.
“You’ve got to give Putnam credit,” said Hopkins. “They jumped down our throat to start, went up 2-0, executed, but then we were able to get the lead. I thought the hit by Killelea got us going ... and I don’t know what else to say about Shane Reynolds.
“For a freshman ... he was phenomenal. He’s played a lot of baseball, and a lot of credit goes to (assistant coaches Brad) Waldron and (Brian) Bressner, because they work with the pitchers, but (Reynolds) has an air about him, and not in a bad way. When he takes the mound, he knows he can play.”
The right-handed Reynolds came on with one on and nobody out in the top of the fourth, relieving Crusaders ace Bryce Foster. Foster struggled with his control and his pitch count but worked his way out of jam after jam, allowing only two unearned runs in the first.
When Reynolds entered he did so with a lead.
The Cru scored once in the first on three straight hits from Nate Melvin, Luke Couch and Komater’s RBI two-bagger. MA then took a 4-2 lead in the third when Melvin singled, Komater tied things with an RBI fielder’s choice, Foster helped his own cause with a double, and Killelea lined his clutch, game-winning single to right.
The loss snapped a 15-game winning streak for the Panthers, one going back to when Marquette swept a two-game Tri-County Conference series with Putnam County in mid-April.
“It was a battle,” said PC coach Chris Newsome. “Until the bottom of the third ... I thought, ‘Man, this is going to happen. Caleb (Dzierzysnki, the game’s losing pitcher despite a gutsy effort) is going to throw strikes and we’re going to continue to hit like we have been,’ but it wasn’t meant to be.”
The Crusaders finished fourth in the state in Class 1A with losses to Goreville 3-2 on June 2 and 13-8 to eventual state champion Aurora Christian on June 1 in the state tourney finals at Dozer Park in Peoria, the home of the Peoria Chiefs, A Class A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals.
At Horenberger Field, Bloomington
Marquette 8, Putnam County 2
PUTNAM CO. (2) — Holmes ss 2-1-0-0, Dzierzynski p/1b 3-1-0-0, Kreiser 2b 4-0-0-0, Huffstodt lf 4-0-0-0, Tonozzi c 1-0-0-0, Olson dh 2-0-1-1, Whitney cf 2-0-1-0, Carlson 1b 3-0-0-0, Colby rf 2-0-0-0, Just 3b 0-0-0-0, Pyszka cr/ph 1-0-1-0, Williams p 0-0-0-0. Totals 24-2-3-1.
MARQUETTE (8) — Na. Melvin ss 4-3-3-0, Couch 2b 2-1-1-0, Komater cf 4-1-2-3, Foster p/3b 4-1-2-1, Dyche c 3-0-0-0, Killelea 1b 3-0-2-3, Snook rf 3-0-1-0, Ni. Melvin dh 3-0-0-0, Cook lf 2-1-1-0, McAlpine 3b 0-0-0-0, Price ph 1-0-0-0, Dougherty cr 0-1-0-0, Waldron pr 0-0-0-0, Reynolds p 0-0-0-0. Totals 29-8-12-7.
Putnam Co. (22-9-1) 200 000 0 — 2 3 2
Marquette (29-2) 103 400 x — 8 12 1
GIDP - Whitney, Holmes. LOB - Putnam Co. 8; Marquette 6. 2B - Na. Melvin, Komater, Foster. SB - Holmes. CS - Waldron. HBP - Tonozzi 2 (by Foster 2), Dyche (by Dzierzynski).
Putnam County ip r er h bb k
Dzierzynski (L) 5.2 8 5 12 2 7
Williams 0.1 0 0 0 0 0
Foster 3+ 2 0 1 5 6
Reynolds (W) 4.0 0 0 2 0 4