Baseball: Elgin defeats New Lenox in American Legion tourney
By Gene Chamberlain For Sun-Times Media July 18, 2013 5:16PM
Updated: July 18, 2013 7:56PM
Pitcher Luke Duffy, leadoff batter Ryan Ford and their Elgin Post 57 teammates had all the answers Wednesday night in District 11 American Legion tournament play.
Duffy shrugged off an early home run Ford went a 4-for-5 in an 8-3 victory over New Lenox at Elgin’s Wing Park in the second round of the District 11 American Legion Tournament.
“Throughout the year we’ve gotten beat some teams, but can beat any team when we show up and put our mind to it,” said Ford, an Elgin Community College player who entered Wednesday’s game hitting .370 “I like our chances against any of these teams, especially if we’re swinging the bats like this.”
Duffy allowed a first-inning solo home run to the second batter, Greg Wymer, but answered back by giving up only two more runs over seven innings, with 10 strikeouts, three walks and eight hits allowed.
“I was running out of steam a little bit there,” he said. “You just bear down. The other team is going through it, too.”
Alex Bell pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth innings.
The win put Elgin (19-4) in a 4:30 p.m. Friday game against St. Charles or Wheaton at Wheaton in a winner’s bracket semifinal. New Lenox (10-5) dropped into a Thursday loser’s bracket game against Hampshire or Plainfield, but likely is to forfeit due to conflict with the summer high school tournament.
“We’ve got all our pitchers playing in the high school tournament, and it makes it tough,” New Lenox manager Chris Hogan said.
In the bottom of the first, Ford’s leadoff double and a throwing error on the play were followed by Mike Murphy’s sacrifice fly. In the second, Ford hit a two-run single after losing pitcher Zach Stacey had walked three straight and allowed a go-ahead RBI single by Riley Halter. Murphy added an RBI single and Nick Binder a run-scoring groundout.
Elgin added two runs in the fifth after New Lenox had pulled to within 6-3 with two runs in the top of the fifth.
Elgin had won by forfeit in the first round of the tourney when Richmond didn’t show. The inactivity concerned manager/coach Bob Todd.
“We’ve been playing so few games,” Todd said. “I was worried and was trying to keep them lively.”