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Baseball: Crete-Monee, Rich Central halted by darkness with game knotted 2-2

Rich Central's Belgee Falkner II connects with pitch as Olympians play Crete-Monee May 6 2014. | Allen Cunningham/For Sun-Times Media

Rich Central's Belgee Falkner, II, connects with a pitch as the Olympians play Crete-Monee, May 6, 2014. | Allen Cunningham/For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: June 8, 2014 6:37AM



Crete-Monee and Rich Central will have to settle the score from Tuesday’s Southland Conference thriller on another day.

With the score tied 2-2 after eight innings, the game was called because of darkness. The two teams already were scheduled to square off again Thursday in Crete, but it wasn’t determined when Tuesday’s game will be completed.

“I wish we could have finished it up (Tuesday),” Rich Central coach Corey Stallings said. “We’ll talk more (Wednesday) and see when we can finish this up.”

Rich Central starter Justin Freeman took a 1-0 lead into the seventh inning. However, a fielding error to start the seventh allowed Logan Kent to reach base. Brandon Hannigan followed with a double into the left-center field gap, putting runners at second and third with no outs.

“All I was trying to do was get a hit,” Hannigan said. “I struck out the first two times, so I wasn’t going to let another strike go by. If it was in the strike zone, I was going to hit it.”

Matt Sonntag then came through with a one-out single, scoring two runs and giving the Warriors (11-9, 7-1) a 2-1 lead.

Crete-Monee coach Gene Cahan called on Brandon Hickey to preserve the lead in the seventh. Hickey, however, walked Quentin Jones to start the inning, and with two outs, hit Nick Norris-Pace with a pitch. David Dugger then lined a single to right, scoring Jones with the tying run.

When right fielder Brandon Howard had trouble coming up with the ball, Norris-Pace was waved home. Howard, however, fired a perfect one-hop throw to the plate to nail Norris-Pace to end the inning.

“I had to send him,” Stallings said. “The kid made a perfect throw.”

Each team had chances to end the game in the eighth.

Crete-Monee’s General McArthur led off the inning with a single, but was stranded on third base.

The Olympians (9-4, 4-2) put two runners on with one out in their half of the eighth, but failed to come up with the clutch hit.

Rich Central jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Kevin Givhan coaxed a leadoff walk, advanced to third on a one-out double by Dugger and scored on a sacrifice fly by Michael Hoover.

Other than that, Sonntag stymied the Olympians. The sophomore left-hander didn’t allow a hit over the next five innings. He walked four and struck out three.

Freeman allowed three hits, walked three and struck out six over seven innings.



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