3A Sectional Championship: Dunlap Walks Off Galesburg

By Drew Locascio
Illinois Scouting Director

Dunlap and Galesburg matched up on Saturday, in a tight pitchers duel, with the Sectional Title at stake. Dunlap’s Andrew Pogue went toe-to-toe with Galesburg’s Noah Matheny and in the end, Dunlap walked off Galesburg, 2-1 in the bottom of the seventh inning.

The walk-off hero for the Dunlap Eagles was lead-off hitter, Myles Burke. With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, and runners on first and second, Burke jumped on the first pitch he saw and dumped it just over the head of the outstretched second baseman in right-center field. The perfectly placed single allowed Eric Tilly to come around from second, easily scoring the walk-off game-winning run.

Tilly started the Dunlap Eagles rally in the bottom of the seventh with an infield single that he narrowly beat out at first base. After a strikeout, Ivan Tejeda, grounded a ball to the right side of the infield that was not fielded cleanly, allowing Tejeda to reach and Tilly to advance to third. Another strikeout set the stage for the Burke heroics.

The game was tight throughout with both starters cruising for the majority of the game. Pogue, an Illinois commit, had dynamic stuff throughout, striking out 13 in his 6.1 innings pitched. Pogue scattered five hits, one run and walked three. The 6-foot-4, 185-pound, long-limbed, quick-armed right-hander sat 87-90 mph, touching 91 a couple of times. He routinely went to his curveball and mixed in a few splitters to keep the Dunlap hitters honest. Pogue was still running his fastball up to 89 mph in the seventh, his final inning.

Matheny, an uncommitted junior, was equally as impressive and took the tough-luck loss for Galesburg. Matheny a strong, durable, right-hander attacked the Dunlap hitters with his fastball throughout, only mixing in his downer curveball when he needed it. Matheny touched 89 mph early in the outing and sat anywhere from 83-88 throughout, revving it up to 87-88 mph whenever he needed it. Matheny went6.2 innings on 97 pitches, scattered six hits, two runs, one earned, fanning nine and walking two.

With the score tied at one, in the top of the seventh, Galesburg had a golden opportunity to take the lead. Galesburg got runners on the corners with nobody out. Pogue finished his outing with a strikeout to collect the first out of the inning. Dunlap then turned to John Day out of the bullpen. On one of Day’s first pitches, Nikolas Deligiannis, who was on first, attempted to steal second. Burke, the Dunlap catcher, came out of the crouch and threw the ball towards second. As the runner at third saw the throw, he took off for home, Unfortunately for the runner at third, the throw went to Day on the mound instead of second base. Dunlap forced the runner into a run-down, eventually tagged him out as he attempted to get back to third base, for the second out of the inning. Day proceeded to get out of the inning with a groundout to third base.

Galesburg scored their lone run of the day in the third inning. Nick Fields, hit a shallow fly ball into left-center field that found its way for a double. Ethan Templeton followed up with a line-drive to right-field for the lone Galesburg run and RBI on the day.

Morton would tie the game at one scoring their run in the bottom of the fourth without getting a hit in the frame. SS Jackson Chatterton walked to lead off the inning, was balked to second base, wild-pitched to third and then scored on a Day groundout to second.

With the win, Dunlap advances to the Class 3A Super-Sectional Game on Monday. They will face Dixon at 5:00 p.m. at Augustana College in Rock Island.