Boys Baseball: Big Fourth Inning Powers Minooka Past Oswego East

Oswego East warms up before Tuesday’s game against Minooka.

After a promising start, Oswego East gave up eight runs in the fourth inning as the Wolves dropped their fifth straight game 12-1 to visiting Minooka in six innings on Tuesday.

Minooka first base man T.J. Condon had two hits and three RBI and pitcher Kevin Ruff only gave up two hits and one run as the Indians picked up the Southwest Prairie Conference victory.

“When you’re in a tight ball game, everybody is a little tense, hoping to get that first big hit,” said Minooka coach Jeff Petrovic. “Once we got the hit to take the lead, it just seemed like things kind of snowballed from there and we hit the ball really, really well.”

Wolves pitcher David Schurr held the Indians scoreless through three innings, giving up just three hits while striking out five.

The Wolves took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third when Nick Mazzocchi trotted home after Ruff was called for a balk.

However, things quickly went downhill for the Wolves. Minooka pounded out seven hits and eight runs as 12 Indians came to the plate in fourth inning.

Condon gave the Indians a 2-1 lead with a two-run single that caromed off the center field fence.

Max Brozovich, Dane Colvin, Tyler Thorson, Steve Wittkamp and Carson Neushwander all had RBI singles as the Indians tacked on six more runs in the inning.

“We weren’t trying to hit the ball as hard in the fourth,” said Wittkamp, who had two hits in the inning. “We were just trying to put it in play and hopefully try to make things happen.”

Joe Carnagio and Austin Polcyn had RBI singles and Condon added an RBI double as the Indians scored four more runs in the sixth inning to take a 12-1 lead.

Ruff found out he was going to start just 10 minutes before Minooka (11-8, 4-3) took the field, but that didn’t seem to have any ill-effect on the right-handed senior as he picked up the win.

“I didn’t have my best stuff but I was just throwing strikes and getting ahead early in the count,” said Ruff, who struck out five batters while walking two. “I think I only threw 60 pitches throughout the whole game, so I was really efficient.”

Oswego East (4-10, 2-5) coach Jim Vera said not much has gone right for the Wolves during their current five-game losing streak.

“We’re not hitting, we’re not playing defense. If we continue to fail at doing the little things right, it’s going to take a long time to get on the right track,” said Vera. “The talent is here, just the confidence isn’t right now.”

I wrote this story for the Chicago Sun-Times, Aurora Beacon and yourseason.com. It appears here.

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