BEECHER | Beecher's Justin Roggemann was waiting for the fastball, and Roggemann got the fastball.
Roggemann scored the winning run on a passed ball to give the Bobcats a 2-1 win over River Valley Conference rival and Times No. 3 Illinois Lutheran. In a 1-1 game, Roggemann started the bottom of the seventh with a lead off double before coming in to score after a Jared Buzan pitch sailed high on Chargers catcher Dylan Gould. With the win, Beecher remained undefeated at 6-0 overall and 4-0 in RVC play.
"Coach (Brandon DuBois) told me to be ready for a bad pitch," Roggemann said. "I just saw the chance and took it."
Beecher (6-0, 4-0) started the scoring with one run in the bottom of the first. Beecher lead off hitter Cameron Morgan walked to start the bottom of the first then later came around to score on a Dallas Saddler sacrifice. Illinois Lutheran (5-1, 1-1) answered with one run in the third on a Gould RBI single that scored Evan Henschel.
"We just didn't get the big hit today when we needed it," Illinois Lutheran coach Mark Kjenstad said. "I hate to see a game end like this. Two good teams, and it comes down to a passed ball."
Both teams remained scoreless the rest of the way until the bottom of the seventh. Roggemann's double to begin the Beecher half of the seventh was followed by a Garrett Short sacrifice that sent Roggemann to third before he came in to score on the passed ball.
"I knew he was going to pitch a first pitch fastball," Roggemann said. "He'd been putting them right over the plate all game. I knew it was going to be the first pitch and just jumped on it."
Chase Wyatt pitched seven strong innings for the Bobcats, striking out eight while allowing six scattered hits. Illinois Lutheran's Buzan pitched 6 1/3 innings, striking out nine, while allowing four hits.
"Their guy pitched the ball well so you have to tip your cap to them," DuBois said. "We put ourselves in good standing so far as the conference goes."
With the win, the Bobcats have put themselves in the driver's seat for a chance at a RVC title.
"We knew if we could beat them, we'd have a jump on winning conference this year," Roggemann said. "(Wyatt) held us in there and kept them to one point and let us stay in there for the win."