ECC Snares Region Title
Byline: Daily Herald Report
The Elgin Community College baseball team achieved Monday what no other team in school history has.
A Region IV championship.
The Spartans beat Kankakee 14-6 in the championship game on Monday after downing Blackhawk 8-7 on Sunday before losing Monday's first game to Kankakee 9-2.
Coach Bill Angelo's squad also established a school record for wins and enters the next round of postseason play this weekend with a 38-36 mark.
Chris Bielski finished Monday with 5 hits. Tim Brewer (4 RBI) had 3 hits including a triple. Mike Benacka (2 RBI) went 2-for-6 with a double. Scott Sieder (2 hits) and Nick Tepper (3 hits) added a double each. Steve Knapp, named Region IV Tournament MVP, went 4- for-5 with a double.
Gary Cahoon (4-4) suffered the loss in the opener and Travis Stauffer (4-3) was the winner in the second game.
Ryan Wardlow was 2-for-4 against Blackhawk, and Mike Benacka was 3-for-4. Sieder was also 3-for-4 with a double and 2 RBI. Mike Hlavacek (5-4) earned the win.
Bartlett 13, Neuqua Valley 9: The motivation was certainly there for both Bartlett and Neuqua Valley.
The Hawks entered Monday's game in Bartlett, a completion from last week's suspended game, in the midst of an 8-game losing streak, including a doubleheader loss to the Wildcats on Saturday. Neuqua Valley, on the other hand, wanted to play as well as it could as it geared up for a big 3-game series against St. Charles East later this week.
Despite the mildly raised stakes, however, neither team looked anywhere near polished.
But in a game that someone had to win, it was the host Hawks, behind an awakened hitting attack, who managed to pull out the sloppy Upstate Eight Conference win 13-9.
"We finally hit the ball. We haven't been doing much hitting lately but today we got some hits," stated Bartlett coach Rocco Marinucci.
One spark in the lineup was Bryan Wenc, who was inserted into the fourth spot. The junior responded with a hit that led to a run in that frame, and then added another single in the sixth that led to another insurance run for the Hawks.
"We got some guys in there that weren't feeling sorry for themselves and they just hit the ball," added Marinucci.
While Wenc sparked the Hawks off the bench, one player in the Bartlett lineup that hit the ball as consistently as he has all year was Kevin Schrader.
The senior, who also pitched the entire way for the Hawks, went 3-for-3 at the plate including a double and a huge 3-run homer in the fourth that proved to be the game-winning run. …