Minooka Slugs Their Way Past No. 22 Oswego East


By Kevin Cronin
Illinois Staff

On Monday afternoon Minooka (4-3) defeated No. 22 Oswego East 18-14. After No. 22 Oswego East scored six in the top of the sixth to take a 14-12 lead, Minooka answered with six of their own to regain the lead and hold on for the 18-14 victory.

Minooka tallied 14 total hits, walked nine times and scored at least one run in every inning but the fourth, on their way to the win. After losing the lead in the top half of the sixth, Minooka put together their most important inning of the game, scoring six runs of their own in the bottom half. With runners at second and third, Hunter Ryan, (2021, Wabash Valley JC) delivered the big blow of the frame, a three-run home run to left field which gave Minooka a 16-14 lead at the time. Two batters later, Concordia (WI) commit, Nicholas Bibian, singled home a run extending the lead to 17-14. Before all was said and done, Minooka put up six runs in the frame and headed to the seventh leading 18-14. 

Oswego East (1-2) threatened in the top of the seventh after a one out double by Donovan Zielke, but two strikeouts eventually ended the threat and Minooka survived the slugfest with the win.

The score was tied at 1-1 heading to the bottom of the second, when Bibian got the things started for Minooka with a one out single to centerfield. Norman and Joey Gould followed up with singles of their own. A hit by pitch to Mitch Thomas and a pass ball gave Minooka a 3-1 lead. Two batters later, Casey Swanson singled home two more runs to make it 6-1 after two complete. 

Oswego East trailed 12-8 entering the sixth when they pieced together their biggest inning of the game. The Wolves put up six runs in the frame to take a 14-12 lead at the time. After two singles and three runs Oswego East had cut the lead to 12-10. Jonas Gulbrandsen, a Parkland JC commit, eventually stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and delivered the swing that everyone thought would change the game for good. Gulbrandsen launched a go-ahead grand slam to left-center field which gave Oswego East a 14-12 lead, their first of the game. Listed at 6-foot-1, 170-pounds, Gulbrandsen finished the day going 4-for-4 with a home run and six RBIs.

The Gulbrandsen grand slam was actually the second grand slam of the day for Oswego East. In the third inning, Austin Miller, a John Carroll commit, launched one of his own, which cut the Minooka lead to 6-5 at the time. 

In total, the teams combined for 32 runs, 23 hits, five errors, 21 walks and six hit by pitches in the game.

NOTABLE PERFORMANCES: 

Niko Bibian (Minooka): 4-5, 2 RBIs
Ivan Dahlberg (Minooka): 1-4, HR, 4 RBIs
Casey Swanson (Minooka): 2-2, 4 RBIs
Nick Gehrke (Minooka): 1-3, 2B, 3 RBIs
Joey Gould (Minooka): 3-5
Joey Hansen (Oswego East): 1-1, HR, RBI
Carter South (Oswego East): 2-2
Donavan Zielke (Oswego East): 2-4, 2B, 2 RBIs

For more in-depth notes from the games - and all other games that we cover - visit the Illinois Scout Blog.

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