When T.F. North scored four times in the top of the sixth Monday to pull to within 8-5, things were suddenly far too close for comfort for Crete-Monee.
So the Warriors broke the bats back out and pounded out six runs in the bottom of the inning to put the Meteors away, winning 14-5 in a Class 4A Lincoln-Way Central Regional quarterfinal in Crete.
No. 15 seed Crete-Monee (20-12) will take on second-seeded Sandburg in Wednesday’s semifinal. T.F. North finished 10-26.
“We didn’t get discouraged when they scored those runs,” Crete-Monee’s Logan Kent said. “It just made us want to win even more. We wanted to get back out there and put runs up.”
General McArthur (3-for-4, 3 runs) started the six-run outburst with an RBI double.
Brandon Hannigan (4-for-4) produced his fourth run-scoring hit of the day with a single, Justin Kozinski added a two-run double and Brandon Howard a two-run single.
Hannigan had RBI doubles in his first three at-bats.
“After my first hit I was like, ‘All right, I’ve got one,’ ” Hannigan said. “Then I had my second and it just kept going. I wasn’t thinking too much about it. I feel like we played a really good game. Every time up there we were hitting the ball and executing our offense.”
The Warriors scored in every inning.
Matt Sontag (5-1) went five-plus innings, allowing four runs — three earned — on five hits to earn the win. When Sontag ran out of gas, Kent, who had been catching in the sweltering heat, took the mound and gutted out the final six outs.
Miseal Morales had an RBI double in the four-run sixth for the Meteors while Patrick Robinson and Eric Sandoval produced run-scoring fielder’s choice grounders and Kendall Montgomery drew a bases-loaded walk.
“We started hitting the ball around, but we made some mistakes on the basepaths and we made some defensive mistakes,” T.F. North coach Mike Kosiara said.
Kosiara said the game was his last. He announced his plans to retire earlier in the season.
“I always said I wanted to go off into the sunset,” he said. “So I’m going to have these guys walk behind me and block the sun.”
Leading 2-1, the Warriors put up three runs in the third on RBI doubles from Kent and Hannigan and a run-scoring Sontag single. They added a run in the fourth and two in the fifth.
Zach Turner had an RBI single for T.F. North.
Crete-Monee plans to start ace Brandon Hickey against Sandburg.
“This was the chance we wanted,” Crete-Monee coach Gene Cahan said. “With Brandon on the mound, we think it gives us a chance.”