Both South Elgin pitcher Ryan Nutof and St. Charles North pitcher Frankie Farry deserved better, and only Nutof got it.
South Elgin fell back on an insurance run scored in the bottom of the sixth inning to get the Michigan recruit his first win of the year, 3-2, in a contest marred by 10 errors and five unearned runs.
“Ryan did a really good job,” South Elgin coach Jim Kating said. “We didn’t help him out too much in regards of defensively. He was out there a good six or seven extra batters with some of the fielding errors we had.
“It was real good that in the past couple weeks we’ve been losing those type of games and we finally won one.”
Nutof (1-0) struck out 12 and allowed four hits but no earned runs in going the distance for the first time this season as he snapped St. Charles North’s five-game winning streak.
“Not the best stuff, but it was good enough,” said Nutof, who relied on his changeup repeatedly to complement his 90-mph fastball while pro scouts in attendance again took note. “It [the changeup] would usually cause a ground ball where they would swing over it. That was my go-to pitch the whole game, the changeup.”
Nutof got toughest when he needed it most. He walked three and two came in the seventh. The Stars (8-2, 3-1) scored a run on a throwing error and had the tying run at third and go-ahead run at first, but Nutof got Jack Dennis on an infield grounder to end the game.
In the second, No. 9 hitter Zach Mettetal singled in the other Stars run with two out after an error and then Nutof’s own errant pickoff attempt put the runner into scoring position. But the Stars had runners in scoring position in the third and fifth without scoring. They had Cory Wright at third in the fifth and Nutof struck out John Legare and Dennis to end the threat.
“I’m proud of the effort. We didn’t give in, didn’t give up,” St. Charles North coach Todd Genke said. “We made the seventh inning interesting to say the least and we had one of our best hitters up there [Dennis] with a chance to drive in the tying and potentially the winning run.
“As poorly as we played defensively, we still had a shot there at the end.”
Farry (1-1) allowed six hits, struck out five and walked none. Like Nutof, he has yet to give up an earned run this year. But the Storm (4-2, 3-1) got a huge insurance run against him in the sixth when Jared Kramer reached on a two-out error and stole second, and Dane Toppel singled him home. The Storm led 1-0 in the first on a sacrifice fly to right by Antonio Danesi, scoring Toppel, who reached on an error. In the second, the Storm took a 2-1 lead on Toppel’s RBI ground out and an error put the runner in position to score.
“It’s frustrating when that happens,” Farry said of the errors. “I don’t want to show anger because I don’t want to let [teammates] know that I’m angry. You just have to keep your head about it and go on to the next pitch.”