Plainfield North ace Brady Miller’s command wasn’t up to his usual level in his last few starts before Friday, so he decided to simplify things.
“I just told myself to attack the zone, get ahead in counts and let the defense make plays behind me,” Miller said.
The simple formula worked. Miller pounded the strike zone to lead the Tigers to a 7-3 win against Sandburg in the Class 4A state semifinals at Route 66 Stadium in Joliet.
Miller made it all the way until the last batter of the game, when he was pulled for reaching the Illinois High School Association’s playoff pitch limit of 115. Miller threw 6 2/3 innings allowing seven hits and two runs. He struck out nine and walked two.
“[Sandburg] is such a good hitting team,” Plainfield North coach John Darlington said. For him to go out and pitch the way he did was outstanding. He had them off balance. Brady kept us in the game. There were a couple of times where he could have folded and he didn’t, he made the big pitch and got the big out when we needed it.”
Senior shortstop Gavin Doyle led the charge offensively. He was 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored.
“In the first at bat he was trying to hit it back to Plainfield but then he settled in and took some good swings,” Darlington said.
Right fielder Garret Cook and catcher Greg Budig were each 2-for-4. Third baseman Sean Tillmon added two hits, an RBI and a run scored.
Plainfield North (28-7) will face Huntley in the Class 4A state title game tomorrow night.
“When you start practice at the beginning of the year this is what you are playing for,” Miller said. “If you aren’t pumped for this game I don’t know what will get you pumped.