Prep Baseball Report

Tyrrell Powers Crystal Lake South To Class 4A State Championship

By Sean Duncan
Executive Director

JOLIET, IL - Noah Tyrrell embodies everything that is right about high school baseball.

A relatively unheralded junior first baseman from Crystal Lake South, Tyrrell entered the Class 4A state tournament with no home runs and 16 RBI.

But on the biggest stage of the season, over the course of two days, Tyrrell left Silver Cross Field with a legendary performance that included a pair of homers and the championship-game record for most RBI. Ultimately, his efforts helped propel Crystal Lake South to the school’s first state championship after the Gators handled heavily favored Edwardsville, 8-3, in the the Class 4A title game Saturday night.

Like Tyrrell, Crystal Lake South was somewhat of an underdog, as the Gators weren’t ranked heading into the season, and slowly belly-crawled up on the competition, all the way through the playoffs, knocking off highly ranked teams like Mundelein, New Trier and finally Edwardsville in the season’s final game.

As for Tyrrell, the 6-foot-1, 195-pound right-handed hitter went 3-for-4 with five RBI and two runs scored in the title game. He got the Gators (36-5) off to a quick start when he ripped a two-run, two-out triple in the first inning, and he came around to score on the play after a fumbled relay throw, staking the Gators to a 3-0 advantage. He added a run-scoring single in the third, then capped off his incredible day with a two-run bomb to left field in the fifth, the Gators’ second two-run homer in the inning.

Exactly how much in the zone was Tyrrell? Well, on his two-run homer, he asked for time, didn’t get it from the ump, so he decided to swing, and golfed a pitch on the inner half over the left field wall. Asked by a reporter what was the pitch, he shrugged his shoulders. “I don’t even know,” he said.

On Friday in the Gators’ win over New Trier, Tyrrell hit a three-run homer in the first inning and finished 2-for-4 with four RBI. In the two games, he tallied nine RBI, five hits, three of which were extra-bases, and scored three runs.

“I just got hot at the right time,” said Tyrrell. “That’s basically it. I just wanted to be more relaxed.”

Tyrrell was far from the only big-game performer against a rock-solid Edwardsville (34-8) club. Senior catcher Ryan Parquette went 3-for-4 with three RBI, which included a two-run homer in the the Gators’ four-run fifth. Leadoff man Griffin Bright added a pair of hits and two runs, and senior third baseman Brian Fuentes added a double, RBI and run scored for the Gators, who pounded out 11 hits.

Then there was senior right-hander Andrew Engelking, who tossed a five-hitter against a strong Edwardsville offense. Engelking (9-0) shuffled in three pitches effectively to notch eight strikeouts to one walk, allowing two earned.

Edwardsville got to Engelking in the first for two runs, cutting the deficit to 3-2. But he settled down after that, and only yielded a solo homer to freshman first baseman Drake Westcott in the fifth inning. For Westcott, a left-handed hitting Louisville recruit, his line-drive blast to right field was his 12th of the season, and finished 2-for-4.

Ultimately, it was too little, too late, as Engelking continued to carve, and recorded a strikeout looking to conclude Crystal Lake South’s surprising run to the championship.

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