Elgin, Pagels Prevail Maroons Comeback Beats West Aurora

By Wojciechowski, Jim | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), April 16, 1997 | Go to article overview

Elgin, Pagels Prevail Maroons Comeback Beats West Aurora


Wojciechowski, Jim, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: Jim Wojciechowski Daily Herald Sports Writer

The way Elgin pitcher Jeff Pagels started, it didn't look like he'd make it to the third inning, much less the seventh.

But, the junior right-hander settled down after an ominous start and allowed the Maroons to come back from a 5-1 deficit and beat visiting West Aurora 9-5 Tuesday in a wind-blown Upstate Eight contest.

After giving up 5 runs, yielding 5 hits and walking three the first two innings, Pagels was nearly perfect the rest of the way. He allowed only 2 hits, 1 walk and faced 16 batters in the final five innings to keep the Blackhawks (6-1, 3-1) at bay.

Pagels attributed the turnaround to improved concentration and better form. He said he was falling off the mound toward first base in the early innings.

"Pagels did a great job of keeping us within reach," said Elgin coach Dave Cooklin, whose team lost 3-0 to West Aurora ace Greg Miller Tuesday. "He had a little trouble early and didn't pout, didn't hang his head.

"He just got a little better and a little stronger, and we kept plugging."

The Maroons (6-3-1, 3-1) scored single runs in the first three inings to stay close, then took the lead for good with a 3-run fourth. Rich Gaszynski had an RBI single, Jeff Wolff a two-out double and David Kukla a 2-run home run to left-center field to put Elgin ahead.

"That was a big one that Kukla got because we had had the base-running error (by Gaszynski for the second out) and he came up with the big hit," Cooklin said.

Elgin capitalized on 2 errors for 3 insurance runs in the fifth. West Aurora committed 5 errors in all and let in 4 unearned runs.

"Our defense has struggled all year," said West Aurora coach Dave Rowell, who hosts Elgin today to conclude the series. "We've been getting by just because we've been swinging the bats."

Pagels helped himself offensively with an RBI double and a solo home run to snap out of a minor slump.

West Aurora parlayed a leadoff walk, a Miller single and George Pearce's first-pitch double to the opposite field for 2 runs in the first.

Pagels got one back when centerfielder Rod Wright misjudged his flyball and it went for a double, scoring Kukla, who reached on an error. …

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