No. 1 Huntley Defeats No. 14 Mundelein, Advancing To Sectional Title Game


Diego Solares
Staff Writer, Associate Scout

No. 1 Huntley played host to No. 14 Mundelein in a 4A sectional semi-final game at Red Raider Stadium in Huntley, IL. Backed by important outs in key situations and consistent run production, the Red Raiders came out on top, defeating Mundelein 9-6 to advance to their second sectional championship in three years.

Huntley jumped out to an early lead, scoring five runs in the first two innings before the Mustangs managed to get on the board. SS Tyler Casto (2021; Mchenry County CC) tripled in the first and later scored on C Brandon Hanley’s (2022: uncommitted) sacrifice fly to right field. Two infield singles, an error, and a double to left field by C Ryan Bakes (2023; South Carolina) had the Red Raiders sitting pretty through two.

Mundelein scored two in the top of the third as INF Mark Skarzynski (2021) started the frame off with a single and later scored on OF Matthew Peterson’s (2021) RBI double. Peterson came around to score on OF Drew Wellington’s (2022) hustle double to right field.

Huntley answered back with three runs over the next two innings - all three powered by C/1B Ryan Kelly (2022) and OF Brayden Bakes (2023). Bakes drove Kelly home in the third after the Huntley cleanup hitter reached on an error and doubled another run in when he came up to bat in the fourth inning. Kelly, who’s been a mainstay for power in the Red Raiders’ lineup all spring, jumped all over a fastball and sent a screaming liner straight over the center field fence for a solo shot.

The Mustangs started to make things interesting as the game went on. Mundelein scored two runs in both the fifth and sixth inning, doing so on a sacrifice fly from 1B Daniel Pacella (2022; uncommitted), an RBI single from 3B Tommy Stricklin (2022), and two infield singles from RHP/SS Jack Bikus (2021; uncommitted) and the aforementioned Pacella.

That’s when Huntley head coach Andy Jakubowski turned to one of his top arms in relief, subbing RHP Andrew Ressler (2023) into the game. Ressler walked the first batter he faced, loading the bases, but battled back to strike a batter out on back-to-back curveballs, stranding three runners and holding the Huntley lead.

Off the bench, left-handed hitting INF Ryan Quinlan (2023) sprayed one into the opposite field gap to score OF Alex Janke (2021) and give the Red Raiders a 9-6 lead as the final frame approached. With Ressler still on the mound, Huntley held strong, as the state’s No. 24 ranked sophomore induced a weak ground ball and two strikeouts for the save. 

Huntley scored a run in each inning but the fifth, manufacturing nine runs on just eight hits. Janke and Brayden Bakes both had extra-base hits, finishing with two knocks apiece in the win.

NOTABLE PERFORMANCES

+ Andrew Ressler (Huntley): 1.1 IP, 3K, 0 H, 0 ER, SV
+ Ryan Kelly (Huntley): 1-for-4, HR, RBI, 2 RS
+ Brayden Bakes (Huntley): 2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 RS, SB
+ Alex Janke (Huntley): 2-for-3, 3B, BB, 2 RS, 2 SB
+ Ryan Bakes (Huntley): 1-for-3, 2B, RBI, BB, RS
+ Matthew Peterson (Mundelein): 3-for-5, 2B, 3B, 3 RS
+ Daniel Pacella (Mundelein): 1-for-3, 2 RBI, SAC
+ Caden Morton (Mundelein): 1.2 IP, ER, H, 2K


The Red Raiders improve to 32-2 on the season and they’ll square off against Hononegah on Friday afternoon for the Sectional Championship. 

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

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