When you’re on a roll like Waubonsie Valley is these days, you find ways to win late in the game.
Things were looking dire through five innings in Tuesday’s Upstate Eight River game at Bartlett. The Warriors were down a run and hadn’t strung any hits together.
But suddenly, Waubonsie found a way to scratch out three runs in the top of the sixth and held on for a 4-2 win. It was the eighth win in nine games, and 13th in 15 games, for the Warriors.
“We’ve been doing this all year,” Waubonsie coach Dan Fezzuoglio said. “We’ve been finding a way to come back and beat teams late. That’s the difference. You get on a run like that, you get confidence late in the game, even on the road. We have to win every series, and that’s the focus if we want to reach our goal of a conference title.”
Bartlett (8-12, 7-10) scored unearned runs in both the third and fifth innings to take a 2-1 lead. The first run came off of Waubonsie ace Tyler Hasper. The plan was for Hasper and Jack Eddy to each throw half the game so that both would be available for Saturday’s doubleheader against Neuqua Valley.
Eddy came in for Waubonsie (15-4, 11-2) and shut the door. In 4 1/3 innings, he allowed only one hit, walked none and struck out five to improve to 3-0. His ERA fell to a paltry 0.56.
“We made a couple errors in the field, but I knew if I just kept pitching well and getting guys out it would work out,” Eddy said.
Bartlett’s starter, sophomore Joey Roberson, was making only his third varsity start, and he held his own against the Warriors through the fifth inning.
Roberson (1-2) allowed only one run in the first five innings and had two outs with Drew Ellam at second in the sixth. He wound up scattering eight hits, striking out five and walking none.
“He did a nice job,” Bartlett coach Chris Pemberton said. “He probably pitched well enough to win, but the defense didn’t make enough plays behind him. The little mistakes have been killing us all year.”
Then, Waubonsie’s bats finally awoke. Eddy, Garret Howicz and Nick Drago each had run-scoring singles with two outs in the sixth to open the 4-2 lead. Eddy, Ellam and Howicz each had two hits in the win.
Eddy, who hasn’t been in the batting order very often this season, had two tying singles after he entered the game.
“Credit Jack for stepping in and getting two huge hits,” Fezzuoglio said. “Every game, you take them any way you can.”