Plainfield North forced a deciding game for the Southwest Prairie Conference title via a 7-3 win at Minooka on Wednesday.
The Tigers hammered out 15 hits, 14 of them singles, to even the series. Minooka (23-6) collected just five hits and committed two errors.
Plainfield North (21-5, 17-3) did not go in order Wednesday, scoring in all but two innings. Kyle Strepek improved to 9-0, allowing five hits and striking out five. At the plate, he went 4-for-5 with two runs scored.
“I was really feeling it today,” Strepek said. “I’m a warm weather pitcher and our offense helped me a lot. I hit better when I pitch. I don’t know why that is.”
“Kyle was outstanding,” Plainfield North coach John Darlington said. “You can’t ask for more than that. We put him on the mound, gave him some runs and he battled and battled.”
Jacob Dunham led a host of Tigers with two hits and collected two RBI. Richard Bryza had two hits, including a double, and scored a run. John Vesper had two hits for Minooka, which scored all of its runs in the bottom of the seventh.
“They are a good team, it’s a new day and they are not going to roll over,” Darlington said. “We let one get away (Wednesday in a 6-5 loss), but now it comes down to one game. That’s what’s great about this conference.”
“Tomorrow is a new day and that’s all we have to look forward to,” Minooka assistant coach Derrick Rapsky said.
Plainfield North will host Minooka for the title at 4:15 p.m on Thursday. North’s Robbie Gesbocker and Minooka’s Joe Butler are the expected pitchers.
“This is a huge advantage for us because we have the momentum going into tomorrow,” Strepek said. “We have a home game, Robbie is going to pitch a gem and if we bring our bats, we’re going to win.”