The Putnam County baseball team started Monday with a five-point lead as the Panthers and Yorkville Christian retook the Class 1A Somonauk Regional Championship after it was suspended Saturday due to rain.
The No. 2-seeded Panthers extended their lead and defeated the No. 5 Mustangs 13-3 in six innings to claim their first regional title since 2018.
Putnam County had the bases loaded with one out when the game restarted late in the fourth, but the Mustangs escaped the block and then scored two runs in the top of the fifth to cut their deficit to 6-3.
However, the Panthers responded with five runs in the bottom of the inning to open the game.
Chris Uzella and Troy Petty walked to start the inning and Ryan Hundley followed with a bunt single to charge the bases.
Andrew Pyszka scored a home run, Drake Smith drew a base-laden walk, Jackson McDonald hit a sacrificial fly, Austin Mattingly drew another base-laden walk and Josh Jessen hit an RBI pitch as PC fought back .
“It was a little disappointing not to score there (in fourth),” said PC coach Chris Newsome. “Once they made the pitch change, we knew the left was erratic. He had some good stuff but he walked people around based on different recognition reports. We were patient at the plate, walking around and getting hits when we needed them.
In the sixth, the Panthers scored on a full-base walk to McDonald and an RBI single from Nicholas Currie to end the game after six innings.
Pyszka went 4 for 5 with a home run, a double, four runs and two RBIs, while Mattingly had a triple, a double, three RBIs and two runs.
Smith picked up the win by pitching all four innings Saturday, allowing one earned run on three hits with four strikeouts and one walk.
Petty pitched both innings Monday, allowing two unearned runs on no hits with four strikeouts and one walk.
Putnam County (26-8) advances to face Harvest Christian Academy (13-7) in a Harvest Christian Academy Division semifinal at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.
The Lions defeated North Shore Country Day 11-1 in the Harvest Christian Academy Regional Championship on Monday.
“Depending on when we play I know the weather is going to be an issue, I think we’ll have almost everyone available to pitch,” Newsome said. “I watched a few Elgin games online. It’s a very good club. They have a good left arm. But I like our changes. We have a pretty good core of guys who have seen the playoffs before. These guys play non-stop and they are competitors.
Henry-Senachwine 4, Annawan-Wethersfield 0
Lance Kiesewetter dominated the mound Monday to lead the No. 2-seeded Mallards to the Class 1A Wethersfield Regional Championship in Annawan.
This is Henry’s first regional championship since 2016 and his first under coach Matt Emmons.
“It’s huge,” Emmons said. “We scored three goals at the start of the season. We wanted 20 kills and we wanted a banner. They were two of three goals and we got them. It’s a hell of a feeling. We’ve wanted to win (a regional) for the five years I’ve been here and we’ve been close. Now getting the job done seems pretty amazing.
Kiesewetter allowed just two hits, struck out 17 and walked just one in a full game.
“I was just throwing strikes and trusting my throws,” Kiesewetter said. “I had a lot of swings and I miss my change.
“Right away (I felt good on the mound). The first inning I struck out two in a row, then they had a little blooper that passed, but we hunkered down and kept them from scoring.
Kiesewetter did not allow a runner past second base.
“He just shut them down,” Emmons said. “It’s one of the best pitching performances I’ve ever seen.
“He mixed it all up. He threw a lot of changes and a lot of curve balls. He was around the area. He just dominated.
Kiesewetter was 2-for-3 at the plate and PJ Ehrat tripled, scored and drove in, while Troy Westerdahl and Colton Williams each drove in a run.
“We laid down a few bunts and played a lot of small balls like we’ve done all year,” Emmons said. “We’re third all-time in IHSA history with 252 stolen bases this season. We stole one tonight and it was on a pitcher’s error where he went off his windup. took our bread and butter and we still found a way to score four runs against a very good pitcher.
The Mallards (21-10) will face Delavan (17-5) in a Wesleyan University of Illinois Division semifinal at 5 p.m. Wednesday. The Panthers beat Heyworth 6-1 in the Delavan Regional Championship on Monday.
“I expect that we’re going to play good baseball and give each other a chance,” Emmons said. “Lance threw like a real ace tonight, but we have two other guys who are ready to go. I think we will compete.