By Jim Hagerty
ROCKFORD – This year was a good a time as any for the Guilford High School baseball team to win a Class 4A regional championship.
It’s only been 11 years.
A day after Max Klein pitched the Vikings to a 6-0 decision over NIC-10 champion East, Guilford clipped DeKalb 2-1 in the title game.
Guilford’s win came on a call DeKalb coach Dedric Wright argued to no avail. With the game tied 1-1 in the bottom of the seventh inning, Guilford sent Klein to the plate with two outs and two runners on. Klein drilled a ground ball that hit shortshop Trey Roach in the chest before he fired it to first.
Wright, along with the Barbs and their fans, believed the throw was in time, which would have sent the game into extra innings. Instead, Klein was safe, and Chris Pass scored from third base, giving Guilford (14-11) a Wednesday date with 22-7 Barrington in the McHenry Sectional.
Eric Nelson stuck out the first two Guilford batters in the seventh. Pass then scored on a single and stole second. Nelson then intentionally walked and hit the next two Vikings to load the bases.
Indiana State University-bound Klein is expected to pitch in the sectionals. This his first season with Guilford after three years next door at Christian Life High School.
DeKalb finished the 2018 campaign 9-23.
In other local action, Huntley used a six-run fourth inning en route to an 8-0 blanking of Harlem Saturday in the Class 4A Belvidere North Regional. Harlem advanced to the finals by edging Hampshire 5-4 in the semi-final contest.
Caleb Badgley cracked a two-run homer Friday as the Boylan Titans rolled past Rockford Christian 12-6 in the Class 3A semifinals and advanced to the championship against Stillman Valley.
Boylan grabbed a 2-0 lead in the top of the first in the title game. Andrew Wilhite answered for Stillman in the Cardinals’ half of the inning with a two-fun bomb over the left-field fence. Boylan used a squeeze play in the third inning to make it 3-2. The Titans were one out away from the win in the seventh when Stillman evened things up on a bloop single. Stillman’s Adam Wenberg drove in the winning run in the eighth. Stillman Valley advances to the Sterling Sectional.
Freeport also powered its way to the 3A Genoa-Kingston Regional title by socking Genoa-Kingston 9-2 Friday. The Pretzels then gave Burlington Central a scare Saturday when they threatened to erase an 8-2 lead. It was not to be though as Burlington Central held on 8-7 to face Kaneland (21-8) in Sterling. R.