PALATINE, Ill. – After losing a three-run ninth inning lead, the Harper College baseball team won 13-12 on a walk-off blunder by Prairie State to capture their ninth consecutive victory.
The Hawks (11-6) trailed 7-3 in the fifth inning but scored eight times in the frame and once in the seventh to take a 12-7 lead. The Pioneers (12-7) scored two in the eighth and then tied it at 12-12 in the top of the ninth on a two-out, three-run homer by Cody Vogler.
In the bottom of the ninth, Tyler Crussen (Wheeler, Ind. /Wheeler) reached on a leadoff single and stole second base. After Angelo Curtis (Chicago Heights, Ill./Marian Catholic)struck out, Crussen stole third base. Neal Ori (Palatine, Ill./Palatine) hit a shallow popup on the edge of the outfield grass, but Prairie State's second baseman and center fielder collided, allowing the ball to drop and Crussen to cross home plate for the win.
Curtis and Kurt Becker (Palatine, Ill./Palatine) were the offensive stars for Harper in the win. Curtis went 3-for-5 with his first homer of the year while Becker continued his torrid hitting by going 4-for-5 with a homer and four RBIs. Steven Yfantis (Prospect Heights, Ill./Wheeling) (3-1) only recorded one out in the game but picked up the win on the mound.
The Hawks have a busy weekend ahead with doubleheaders at Elgin Community College and Olive-Harvey College Friday and Saturday and a home conference doubleheader against Joliet on Sunday. For a full schedule, click here.