Pitching took center stage as Minooka and Joliet Catholic locked up in a classic dual in the title game of the WJOL/Don Ladas Memorial Baseball Tournament on Saturday night at Silver Cross Field in Joliet.
The Indians finally broke through in the top of the 10th and held on for a 1-0 victory.
Minooka (5-1) didn’t allow a run in the entire tournament, winning its first two games 11-0 and 3-0.
“It was a great game and a great win,” Minooka winning pitcher Joe Butler said. “I was just thinking ‘get ahead of the hitters.’”
Butler, a sophomore right-hander entered in the bottom of the ninth and got out of a bases loaded jam by striking out Nick Dalesanro (2-for-4) on three pitches. He added another trio of strikeouts in the 10th, and stranded two Hilltopper runners.
Joliet Catholic (6-1) stranded 14 runners in the game.
With two outs and none on in the top of the 10th, Neal Tyrell singled for his third hit of the game. The senior shortstop went to second on a wild pitch, third on an error and scored on an infield single up the middle from Cristian Sanchez.
Tyrell was named tournament MVP.
“Once I’m on base, I just want to make things happen,” Tyrell said. “I saw that I could take third and get 90 feet closer, so I did. Then Cristian knocked me in.
“It’s awesome [to get MVP]. I know a lot of guys on Joliet Catholic and it was great playing against them.”
Mitch Malone went five innings, allowing five hits, with no walks and four strikeouts as the Indians starter. Trevor Mally followed.
Sophomore Drake Fellows went the first seven innings for Joliet Catholic, allowing three hits, while walking none, hitting a batter, and striking out nine.
The Hilltoppers left the bases leaded in three innings, including the ninth. They had load the bases with no outs in the fourth on singles by Mitch Boe, Nick Dalesandro, and Aaron Markley. But Malone got a pop-up, a strikeout, and a force out at second to escape the jam.
Providence edged Lockport 3-2 in the third place game. Matt Diehl went 2-for-3 with a pair of RBI for the Celtics (4-4), His RBI double in the fourth broke a 2-2 tie. Lockport fell to 5-5.