CRETE | A couple of more runs here and a few less errors there, and it might have been a different story for Crete-Monee on Thursday.
Instead, Crete-Monee missed some opportunities and missed making a few plays in the field as it fell 14-9 to Lincoln-Way West in one semifinal of the Class 3A Crete-Monee Regional.
Crete (21-12) had beaten Lincoln-Way West 13-7 on Saturday. On Thursday it jumped to a 3-0 lead when No. 9 hitter Joey Calderone cleared the loaded bases with a double.
"I knew before the game I had to step up and make something happen," Calderone said. "I knew this could be my last game and I wanted to have a good game."
Calderone was 3-for-3 and scored twice.
Crete coach Gene Cahan said what hurt his team was its inability to build on its lead. It left the bases loaded in the third and left 11 runners on for the game.
"We're up 3-0 and if we score a few (in the third), then it is a different game," Cahan said. "We had a guy on third with no outs and don't score. We had some chances, but didn't take advantage."
Lincoln-Way West (22-14) will play Lemont at 11 a.m. Saturday for the championship. It also took advantage of six Crete errors and scored six runs in the bottom of the third and three more in the fourth as it sent 10 batters to the plate in each of those innings.
In the fourth, leadoff man Ryan Clavenna struck out, but went to first on a dropped third strike and that opened the door.
Lincoln-Way West added two in the fifth and three more in the sixth when Dan Brokop (4-for-4) hit a three-run homer.
"It was just a fast ball over the middle of the plate and I drove it," Brokop said. "I just saw the ball well today."
Crete scored twice in each of the fourth, fifth and seventh innings.
"We battled to the end and I think you saw that in the seventh," Cahan said. "We just didn't have enough."