No. 24 Chicago Christian Walks Off Sandburg

By Kevin Cronin
Area Scout

On Thursday afternoon, No. 24 Chicago Christian hosted Carl Sandburg. This showdown featured the No. 21 ranked right-handed pitcher in the 2021 class; Adam Brouwer (Chicago Christian) and the No. 9 ranked right-handed pitcher in the 2023 class; Grant Tenuta (Sandburg). The game turned out to be a pitchers' duel, as advertised, and Chicago Christian would go on to walk-it off in the 7th inning, for a 2-1 victory. 

With the game tied at one in the top half of the seventh, Chicago Christian senior Brian Huttner, a Cornerstone University commit, nearly missed a walk-off home run to left field to lead off the inning; instead settling for a rally-starting double. Later in the inning, Tommy Schaaf, a Trinity Christian commit, reached on an error and an intentional walk to Johnny Dieck set up Adam Stuursma. Stuursma proceeded to walk it off on a groundball hit to the drawn-in infield. A defensive mishandle allowed the winning run to score and push Chicago Christian’s record to 19-1.

Sandburg found a way to rally back from a 1-0 deficit and tie the game in the top of the seventh inning. With one out, Senior Danny Durkin singled sharply to right field to start the rally. Durkin went on to advance into scoring position on a dropped third strike confusion. Brian Funk, a Moraine Valley Community College commit, delivered the game-tying swing thanks to an error in left field.

Senior Adam Brouwer, a Illinois-Springfield commit, was in complete control on the mound for Chicago Christian. Brouwer threw a complete game with one unearned run, striking out nine batters while allowing three hits and walks. Brouwer threw 79 pitches in the complete game, 75% of them landing for strikes. Brouwer consistently spotted up to the outer half of the plate but could command it on the inner half as well whenever he wanted. The fastball played mostly straight, showing high-level command on the corners of the zone. Fastball sat 83-85 mph, topping at 87 mph. Brouwer went to an 11/5 curveball most frequently outside of the fastball. The pitch varied between 11/5 and 12/6 shape, 66-68 mph. He also showed off a changeup with arm-side-run in the low-to-mid 70s. Offensively, Brouwer went 1-3 with a single to right center in the second inning.

Sandburg sophomore Grant Tenuta went toe-to-toe with Brouwer proving he is an uncommitted arm to follow closely moving forward. The 6-foot-1, 188-pound, strong right-hander kept his team in the ball game and gave them a chance throughout. In a no decision effort Tenuta went five innings, scattered two hits, one unearned run, struck out four and walked two. 67% of Tenuta’s 66 pitches landed for strikes.Tenuta attacked with a four-seam type fastball and sat 85-87 mph in the early goings; sitting 83-85 mph in his final couple innings. Tenuta mixed in an 11/5 curveball, with sharp, late action at times, at 65-68 mph. Backing up his fastball and curveball was a changeup with fade, sitting 72-75 mph. If Tenuta should continue to see his stock rise if he can show this kind of control and three-pitch mix.

With the game scoreless in the bottom of the fourth inning, Chicago Christian’s  Zach Sedakis reached on an error to get the inning started. After a Huttner walk put runners at first and second, Schaaf delivered a two-out, two-strike, RBI single to right field to give his team a 1-0 lead. 

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