Plainfield Central Wins In Walk-off Fashion Against Dunlap

By Drew Locascio
Illinois Scouting Director

Plainfield Central 4, Dunlap 3 (8 innings)

PLAINFIELD, IL – Plainfield Central defeated Dunlap 4-3 in eight innings on Saturday. Plainfield Central (9-2), who were without a few of their key juniors, due to ACT testing, battled back from deficits a couple times throughout the game before finally coming away with a walk-off win in extra innings.

With one out and the score tied at three in the bottom of the eighth inning, Zach Hafner came to the plate with the winning run on third base for Plainfield Central. Hafner got a pitch that he was able to elevate and hit a fly ball into center field. Evan Fairfield, the Dunlap (5-3) center fielder, was able to catch it easily but was too deep to make the play at home a close one. Nathan Yusko, who singled to begin the frame, scored the winning run from third base for Plainfield Central.

Shortstop Cameron Cercone tied the game in the bottom of the seventh for Plainfield Central with a one out run-scoring single up the middle. After Cercone’s single, the Wildcats had the winning run on third base and attempted a suicide squeeze for the win. The bunt, which barely crept it into fair territory, was fielded by Jared Holt, Dunlap’s catcher. Holt dove full extension and was able to tag the runner from third out at the plate on a bang-bang call. That play kept Dunlap's hopes alive and eventually forced extra innings.

The Eagles of Dunlap took an early 2-0 lead on the Wildcats thanks to a two-run home run to deep left-center field by junior, first baseman, Charlie Mangieri. Mangieri, every bit of 6-foot-4, 225-pounds, is committed to play football at Northwestern.

Both starting pitchers threw well and allowed their defense to work. Junior right-handed pitcher Carter Michanicou ended up with a no decision for Dunlap after going six innings, scattering two hits, two runs, no earned, striking out three and walking three. Plainfield Central started sophomore right-handed pitcher Justin Divelbiss on the mound. Divelbiss, who also got a no decision went six innings, scattered seven hits, allowed three earned runs, struck six and walked two.

Dunlap senior third baseman, Ben Hopkins, an Illinois Central College commit, led the way offensively for the Eagles. Hopkins, a left-handed hitter, went 3-for-3 with two doubles, a run scored and a walk.

Rocco Pascente, a Pensacola JC commit, paced the Wildcat offense with two hits.

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

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