Minooka has seen to it that nobody runs away and hides in the Southwest Prairie race.
At least not yet.
“We beat Oswego East 13-0 and 7-6 in eight innings this week, and I don’t think they had lost in the conference before that,” Minooka coach Jeff Petrovic said after Friday’s 15-3, six-inning rout at league front-runner and previously unbeaten
Plainfield South. “We had 14 hits the first game against Oswego East, then 15 and now this.”
Included in Friday’s 14-hit barrage were two home runs and a single by Joe Carnagio, who drove in five runs after knocking in the winning run in the eighth inning Thursday. Steve Wittkamp belted a three-run homer, Mark Fox a two-run blast and
Scott Jolly added solo shot and Neal Tyrell chipped in with two doubles, a single and two RBI.
Minooka (12-7, 8-3) ended an 11-game winning streak for South (12-3, 8-1) with an exclamation point.
The wind was blowing out from the southwest and carrying virtually everything in the air either out or close to it. John McNulty, who drove in all three South runs with two homers and also singled, managed to solve Minooka senior right-hander Steve Szymanski. Tyler Butler chipped in with a double high off the center-field fence. Otherwise, South generated little offense, stranding only one runner through five innings.
“Steve pitched a really good game,” said Carnagio, whose homers were his third and fourth of the season. “He kept the ball low, which you had to do today. (South) is a really good hitting team.”
“Their pitcher did a good job hitting his spots and unfortunately ours was not hitting his,” South assistant coach Tony Folino said. “Minooka wanted it more than us today.”
Cougars head coach Phil Bodine was not feeling well and missed the game.
Minooka also beat South in a one-sided game for third place in the WJOL Tournament, but the Cougars won the two previous SPC battles during their 11-game win streak.
“We needed the last three days,” Petrovic said. “We were in a slump before that. We were 9-3 and then lost four in a row.
“They (Cougars) are really a good team. We didn’t get their best tonight.”
Petrovic praised Szymanski’s complete-game effort.
“I wouldn’t have wanted to pitch today,” he said. “It was a great hitters’ day.
“The big thing was we didn’t give the free bases that we had been giving when we were in a rut. Now we feel like we have our feet back under us.”