ALGONQUIN – Jacobs first baseman Ben Murray was fooled on a slider from Cary-Grove’s Zach Marszal that he missed badly in the fifth inning.
Murray actually was fooled on the ensuing pitch, which he thought was a fastball, but was another slider. That time, however, he connected squarely and sent the ball into the left-field corner.
Murray, whose RBI double broke a scoreless tie, then scored on Joe Rizzuto’s single. That was enough support for right-hander Nick Ledinsky as the Golden Eagles defeated C-G, 2-1, in their Fox Valley Conference Valley Division baseball game Saturday morning.
“I was just hoping for that fastball and to try to put it in play,” Murray said. “I just wanted to get that run in. [Marszal and Ledinsky] were both pitching great and we were leaving guys on. We couldn’t string together a couple of hits. We finally broke through there.”
Trojans left fielder Dean Christakes laid out and narrowly missed Murray’s ball, which landed just inside the foul line, scoring Ryan Sargent, who had walked and stole second.
“It’s fun to be part of a game like that,” Marszal said. “You know [Ledinsky] is going to pitch well, and it makes you have to focus in there. They just got the clutch hit and we didn’t. Every game [in the Valley] is going to be a battle. Today we just ended up on the opposite end of what we would like.”
Jacobs (14-4 overall, 6-3 FVC Valley) desperately wanted a win after losses to McHenry on Thursday and C-G on Friday.
“I’m so proud of our entire team,” said Jacobs coach Jamie Murray, whose 15 seniors were honored before the game. “We’ve had two tough defeats the last two nights. I told them if we hit, play defense and get the timely hits, we’ll be fine. I knew what Nick’s capable of, he’s been doing it the last year and a half, he’s a warrior on the mound.”
Ledinsky (4-1) struck out five and walked three. Marszal (3-2) struck out four and walked three. Both pitchers allowed five hits.
“You just have to add a spark for the team,” Ledinsky said. “Go out there and try to give us some momentum and get back in the dugout and get some runs. I felt really, really good today.”
C-G (13-5, 7-3) was not finished in the seventh as Dean Lee walked, pinch hitter Andrew Brierton singled and was forced at second on Ryan Dundon’s ground ball. With runners at first and third, Daniel Vilardo singled in a run, but Ledinsky, on his 99th pitch, got Matt Ewert on a ground ball to second.
“There’s nothing to be disappointed about,” Trojans coach Don Sutherland said. “It’s exactly what I expected from everybody on the Valley side in these games. They got that nice double. That’s what we didn’t do, get the hit after a walk.”