Brandon Hoey, Big Foot top Edgerton in pitchers' duel
EDGERTON--Thursday’s highly-anticipated pitching matchup between Walworth Big Foot’s Austin Hoey and Edgerton’s Lucas Gregory lived up to the hype.
The two dominating left-handers combined for 25 strikeouts and did not allow an earned run.
Fortunately for Hoey, the Chiefs made two first-inning runs stand up in a pivotal 2-1 Rock Valley Conference win.
Big Foot improved to 13-5 overall and to 9-3 in the Rock Valley South. The Chiefs hold a three-game lead over Beloit Turner with only four games to play.
The win also likely gave Big Foot the No. 1 seed for the WIAA Division 2 regional tournament and bumped Edgerton to the No. 2 seed.
“This was a game we had to have,” Big Foot coach Steve Bochat said. “And to come here and beat a team as good as Edgerton, with Gregory on the mound, says a lot about our team.
“It just happens that we got two runs early and were able to hang on. Austin was outstanding like he has been all season long. And he had to be, because Gregory was just as good.”
Big Foot got the two runs it needed in the top of the first. Hoey reached on an error with one out, and courtesy runner Servando Perez advanced to second when Brian Wolski walked. Brett Morris followed with a two-run double down the left-field line to give Hoey all the support he needed.
Hoey allowed five hits and struck out 13, including the final three batters of the game in the seventh.
Edgerton scored its only run in the second when Jeremy Hart doubled, moved to third on a fielder’s choice and scored on a throwing error.
“I didn’t know much about the Edgerton hitters coming in,” Hoey said. “I just wanted to come out and throw strikes, challenge their hitters, and let my defense do its job.
“Getting the win is the most important thing, because it means we’re only two wins away from a conference title.”
Gregory deserved a better fate. The senior matched Hoey pitch for pitch, finishing with 12 strikeouts and only one walk. He made one bad pitch on an 0-1 count that led to Morris’ double.
Edgerton coach Mike Gregory, Lucas’ uncle, called the pitching duel one of the best he has seen.
“It was a classic,” he said. “They both pitched their hearts out, and it’s tough for either one of them to have to lose.
“We told our kids coming in that it was going to come down to who could execute, because you’re not going to come out and get eight, nine or 10 hits against a kid like Hoey. We had a couple of opportunities, but we just didn’t get it done.”