St. Rita walks away with win over South Elgin
BY MIKE CLARK firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @mikeclarkpreps June 13, 2014 11:34PM
St. Rita players celebrate after defeating South Elgin to move into Saturday's championship game. | Mike Mantucca / For Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 14, 2014 3:11PM
Nick Goldsmith got the job done for St. Rita on Friday night, even if it came with an unexpected twist.
Goldsmith walked on a 3-2 pitch with the bases loaded, sending Shane Peisker trotting home from third with the decisive run in the Mustangs’ 3-2 win over South Elgin in the Class 4A state semifinals at Silver Cross Field in Joliet.
“You come up in that situation, it’s pretty awesome,” Goldsmith said. “Because it’s every kid’s dream to come up to the plate to send your team to (the) state (final). I didn’t get it done hitting but was able to get the walk, get the run in some way.”
It sent St. Rita (37-4) to its third state final in six seasons and in search of the program’s first state championship. The Mustangs will face Providence (27-14) — a Catholic League Blue rival they beat three times in the regular season — at 5:30 p.m. Saturday.
St. Rita needed a sixth-inning comeback to advance for the second straight game as South Elgin and ace Ryan Nutof led 2-1 through 51/2 innings.
Danny Gleaves started the winning rally with an infield hit to short and Shane Peisker tripled to right-center to tie the score 2-2.
“I just knew I had to get the job done,” Peisker said. “I was 0-for-2 already on the day and I just told myself, ‘Just don’t strike out, go down looking. Got to kind of battle it, get a pitch to drive.’ ”
The Mustangs then caught a break when South Elgin shortstop Dane Toppel dropped Jake Shepski’s towering popup as Peisker stayed at third. Tyler Halas walked to load the bases and set the table for Goldsmith.
That was all the help St. Rita lefty Mike Costanzo (11-2) needed. He set the Storm (24-11-1) down in order in the top of the seventh to finish a four-hitter.
“The last two innings, I tried to pitch to contact and use my defense,” said Costanzo, who had three of his 11 strikeouts in the sixth and seventh. “It just so happened they swung through the ball. It wasn’t anything different I did from the first five innings.”
St. Rita went up 1-0 in the second when Halas scored on a balk.
South Elgin pulled ahead 2-1 with a run in the third on Nutof’s RBI groundout and one in the fourth on Justin Bryski’s RBI triple.
Nutof (8-1) finished with a three-hitter and 10 strikeouts.
“It’s real tough,” Nutof said. “We didn’t come here to be the third- or fourth-best team.”
“I thought we had the game,” South Elgin coach Jim Kating said. “The kids played hard. We gave that one away. That aspect, I’m very disappointed with. I thought we had the opportunity to tack on a few more runs. We left too many runners on; that gave a good team a little hope.”