Baseball: St. Rita squeezes past Providence
By Pat Disabato firstname.lastname@example.org April 24, 2013 8:56PM
Devin Williams, of Providence, drives in a run against St. Rita. | Gary Middendorf~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 28, 2013 7:55PM
Chris Delgadillo has experienced many pressure-packed situations on the baseball diamond.
The St. Rita second baseman said, however, he never experienced anything like Wednesday against Providence.
Trailing 2-1 in the sixth, Delgadillo executed a two-strike suicide-squeeze bunt, bringing the tying run across the plate.
Then with two outs and the bases loaded in the seventh, Delgadillo ripped a sharp infield single that scored the game-winning run and allowed No. 2 St. Rita to register a 3-2 win over Providence in a Catholic League Blue thriller in Chicago.
The win improved the Mustangs to 21-2 overall and 6-0 in league play. Providence, loser of five straight, is 8-7, 2-4.
“It’s kind of shocking,” said Delgadillo, a Schererville, Ind., resident. “I’ve never had that happen to me in the same game.”
So what was Delgadillo thinking when he saw coach Mike Zunica flash the squeeze sign with two strikes?
“I had to get the bunt down,” Delgadillo said.
Providence coach Mark Smith, like everyone else in the ballpark, didn’t expect a suicide squeeze in that situation.
“I turned to my coaches and said, ‘Zuni has some guts,’ ” Smith said. “And he has confidence in his hitter.”
Delgadillo’s heroics made a winner of pitcher Dominic Fosco (5-1). Fosco’s contributions are stunning, considering he sat out last season because of an elbow injury.
“I didn’t think I was going to be this big a part of the team,” said Fosco, who resides in Chicago’s Garfield Ridge community. “Coach (Mike) Zunica keeps telling me how much of a factor I am. My arm feels good and my velocity is back. It’s been awesome.”
Fosco mixed a fastball, curveball and changeup to keep the Celtics at bay. The senior allowed four hits, walked one and struck out four. He twice plunked Providence’s Nick Sanders with pitches, which accounted for both Celtics runs.
Providence pitcher Dylan Rosa matched Fosco pitch for pitch. The junior carried a no-hitter into the fifth and scattered five hits, walked three and struck out six in taking the loss. Rosa also had two hits and an RBI.
“He threw his tail off,” Smith said. “He pounded the strike zone and deserved a better fate.”
St. Rita’s Troy Payton scored the first run of the game when, as a pinch-runner, he stole two bases and scored on Pete Cozzi’s groundout.