CHICAGO | Not even walking the first hitter he faced to load the bases bothered Crown Point's Ronnie Plesac.
With the game on the line, Plesac got Mount Carmel's Ako Thomas to fly out to preserve a 3-2 win for Times No. 3 Crown Point on Saturday at a windy Haggerty Field.
“I wasn't trying for a strikeout, just wanted to get it in play,” Plesac said. “I just let the defense take over and I knew whether it was hit in the air or on the ground our defense would make the play.”
Plesac said It was a big win for the Bulldogs (3-1) over another quality team.
“They are a very good team, so it was nice to go out there and beat a good team,” he said. “I think anytime you play a quality opponent, you kind of step up your game.”
Plesac, who missed last year after having Tommy John surgery, had struck out 10 in five innings against Bishop Noll on Tuesday.
Crown Point sophomore Noah Burkholder made his first varsity start and got the win. He said he was not nervous.
“I really felt comfortable out there and I was a little pumped to go against a good-hitting team,” Burkholder said. “I had good support in the field and Ronnie came in and took care of business.”
The Bulldogs' Jake Carey was the hero with the bat. In the sixth, the Bulldogs took advantage of a Jerry Houston throwing error to score two unearned runs. Pinch runner Chris Dietrich scored on a passed ball to make it 2-2. Carey fell in the hole at 0-and-2, but fouled off two pitches and worked a full count. He hit a line drive to center to score Bobby Morgan with what turned out to be the winning run.
“It was a good pitch and I just went with it,” Carey said. “I just kept fighting up there, fouling off a few (pitches). I had to get that run in because the game was on the line and you don't get too many chances against a good team.”
Jake Jatis led off with a double and Dietrich ran for him, then Morgan hit a grounder to Houston, who made a high throw over the first baseman's head. Dietrich went to third and Morgan to second.
“I just made a bad throw,” Houston said. “I kind of grabbed it high and I didn't make that good of a throw. Can't do that especially against a good team like them.”
Both teams scored in the first, then Mount Carmel (9-2) added a run in the third as Justin Gonzalez led off with a walk and Ako Thomas singled him in.