White Sox

Defense sparks WW South to easy win


Defense sparks WW South to easy win

Saturday, Nov. 13, 2010
10:57 PM

By Steve Tucker

No one will argue with the proficiency of the Wheaton Warrenville South offense, its hard for the defense to get its due.

But Caleb Bednarz got things going with the first of four interceptions for the top-rated Tigers in a 40-20 Class 7A quarterfinal before a standing-room crowd estimated at 8,000 Saturday in Wheaton.

WW South (12-0) got on the board in less than 90 seconds, on a Bednarz interception and 17-yard return.

We definitely wanted the defense to take the momentum, Bednarz said. We knew this was a tough game and we wanted to send a message early. Our defense can get discouraged because we have to go against our offense every day in practice.

After both teams failed to score, WW South got the ball back at the Glenbard West 33. It took one play for them to get back on the board, scoring on a 33-yard pass from Reilly OToole (15 of 20, 239 yards, TD, 62 yards and two TDs rushing) to a leaping Titus Davis.

This was a special game for Reilly, WW South coach Ron Muhitch said. He did everything we asked and more. And our defense, I thought we had a great defense in 1998, but that team had a great offense too. Assistant Mark Jackson has a defense that matches our talent and he has some ex-Tigers like Devon Finn and Ken Hellberg helping.

Glenbard West got on the board with 9:25 to play in the half a six-yard run by Nick Burrello that made it 14-6. After each team punted, the Tigers struck again on a 22-yard run by OToole.

The Hilltoppers answered on a 68-yard scoring pass from Daver Glawe to Mark Hiben to cut the deficit to 20-13. Just under three minutes before halftime was more than enough time for the Tigers, who put together a 10-play drive capped by a four-yard scoring run by OToole.

They are a tough team to beat here, Glenbard West coach Chad Hetlet said. Were working to get to that level. I was proud of our kids. Hibens hands are unbelievable and Jordan Walsh an offensive lineman committed to Iowa played his heart out.

In the second half, Hiben caught a 17-yard TD pass to cut it to 27-20, but the Tigers closed it out with TD runs of one and three yards by Matt Rogers (20 carries, 98 yards).

This was my last game on Grange Field, and Im enjoying this, Davis said.

You can't script this: Eloy Jimenez smacks game-winning homer in first game at Wrigley Field

You can't script this: Eloy Jimenez smacks game-winning homer in first game at Wrigley Field

Had this been the scripted outcome, it would've sounded a little too cheesy.

But in reality, it was a moment that got White Sox fandom as excited as the dude rounding the bases.

Eloy Jimenez, playing in his first game at Wrigley Field nearly two years after the Cubs traded him to the White Sox, smacked a game-winning homer off Pedro Strop in the ninth inning, breaking a 1-all tie and giving the South Siders a 3-1 victory in the first Crosstown game of the 2019 season.

Jimenez had been asked countless times about what it would be like to play in the park he long assumed would be the one where he played his big league games. And he expressed excitement, though committed to saying it would be like any other game.

It wasn't.

Jimenez had a disappointing outcome in his first at-bat of the evening, ending a bases-loaded, one-out situation in the first inning with a double play. He singled and walked in later plate appearances, but nothing was anywhere near as dramatic as his trip to the plate in the ninth. He hit Strop's pitch so hard it sounded like he broke his bat. The ball still ended up in the left-field bleachers.

One ninth-inning blast in June 2019 won't rip the rebuilding White Sox contention window open immediately, but what an image of rebuilding progress it was, with Jimenez, the middle-of-the-order centerpiece for the next decade, blasting a game-winner against the Crosstown-rival Cubs.

Jimenez's permanent smile was indeed present as he rounded the bases, made even bigger by his Tuesday night heroics. The White Sox are hoping they were the first of many.


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Baseball Night in Chicago Podcast: It's that time again: Ricky's Boys vs The North Siders


Baseball Night in Chicago Podcast: It's that time again: Ricky's Boys vs The North Siders

Ozzie Guillén and David DeJesus join Leila Rahimi on a special Crosstown edition of Baseball Night in Chicago.

Listen to the full episode here or via the embedded player below: