PALATINE, Ill. – The Harper College baseball team saw its season come to an end on Sunday as they lost to Waubonsee Community College in the Region IV Sectionals.
The Hawks (24-23) fell 11-1 to Waubonsee on Saturday and beat Milwaukee 15-5 on Saturday in the three-team round robin tournament. Needing to beat the Chiefs twice on Sunday, the Hawks lost 4-3 in a tightly-contested game.
In the sectional opener on Saturday morning, Waubonsee topped Milwaukee 9-5.
The Chiefs came out swinging in the 1 PM game against the Hawks, tagging Harper starter Mickey Wazorick (Rolling Meadows, Ill./Rolling Meadows) (6-2) for seven runs in the first two innings. Brent Kiesel (Streamwood, Ill./Streamwood) relieved Wazorick in the third but surrendered three runs in the third and another run in the fifth.
Waubonsee starter Angel Sanchez (5-2) shut down Harper in the 11-1 victory, yielding just one run on three hits in five innings. Kurt Becker (Palatine, Ill./Palatine) was the lone bright spot for the Hawks' offense, going 2-for-2 with a run scored.
Harper bounced back with a 15-5 victory in game two, collecting 15 hits. Theo Yfantis (Prospect Heights, Ill./Wheeling) tore up Milwaukee pitching, going 4-for-4 with a double, triple, and five RBIs. Tyler Crussen (Wheeler, Ind. /Wheeler) went 3-for-4 with an RBI, and Zack Jones (/Maine South), Angelo Curtis (Chicago Heights, Ill./Marian Catholic), and Kevin Conrad (Twin Lakes, Wis./Wilmot) each had two-hit performances.
Steven Yfantis (Prospect Heights, Ill./Wheeling) (5-4) went the distance on the mound for his eighth complete game, allowing four earned runs in six innings of work.
Harper and Waubonsee squared off at 11 AM Sunday morning with the Hawks needing two victories to secure a spot in the Region IV Finals at Boomers Stadium May 16-18.
The Hawks took an early 1-0 lead in the first inning on a Jones sac fly. Kurt Becker (Palatine, Ill./Palatine)'s fifth inning double extended the lead to 2-0. Harper starter Lee Brietzman pitched scoreless ball until the bottom of the sixth, when Jose Camacho's two-out single cut the Harper lead to 2-1.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, the Chiefs struck again, as Nick Gilette led off the frame with a solo homer to tie the game at 2-2. Later in the inning, Waubonsee scored two times with two outs on a Tom Colletti RBI single and Ray Cekus RBI triple.
Trailing 4-2 in the ninth inning, Becker made it 4-3 with a two-out double that scored Tyler Crussen (Wheeler, Ind. /Wheeler) (3-for-5, three runs). Waubonsee's Angel Sanchez came in relief to get the final out and put the Chiefs in the Region IV finals.
Brietzman (0-3) suffered the loss, giving up four runs in 7 1/3 innings, and Tom Colletti (2-0) surrendered just two earned runs in 8 2/3 innings of work for the victory.