Prep baseball: Davis Collie’s single caps Sycamore’s 2-run comeback in 8th against Dixon

Spartans win regional title 4-3 on walk-off hit

Sycamore third baseman Matt Rosado celebrates with teammates while holding the championship plaque after Sycamore's 4-3, eight-inning win against Dixon on Saturday in the Class 3A Dixon Regional championship.

DIXON – Sycamore coach Jason Cavanaugh pleaded with his players after noticing how shallow Dixon right fielder Brady Lawrence was to just “hit it over his head.”

Matt Rosado obliged, crushing a game-tying double deep to right field, and Davis Collie followed with a walk-off single in a 4-3 win for Sycamore over the Dukes to claim the Class 3A Dixon Regional title Saturday.

Not only did it complete a two-run comeback for the Spartans (26-7), but it ended an 0-for-17 slump for Rosado.

“I was just doing too much thinking in the box, and I was talking to Collin Severson, and he told me to just think ‘hit the ball hard,’” Rosado said on the advice he got from Sycamore’s leadoff hitter. “That’s what I did. I hit the ball hard and I drove it.”

Thanks to a two-run home run by Lawrence in the top of the eighth, the Dukes (18-12) led 3-1 and appeared on the verge of claiming their fourth regional title in the past five postseasons. But No. 9 hitter Tyler Lojko started the Sycamore rally with a one-out single, and Severson was hit by a pitch to set up Rosado’s double.

Cavanaugh said he was really happy to see Lojko come up with a big hit in a clutch spot to start the Sycamore rally in a game the Spartans were struggling against Dixon starter James Leslie.

“He’s a fantastic defensive player but still developing as an offensive player,” Cavanaugh said. “Today he put together three good at-bats. He had a hard-hit ball to third and drew a walk and then that big hit to get us going.”

Nate Lojko pinch ran for Rosado, and Kyle Hartmann followed with an infield single to move him up to third.

Davis said he was just looking for a sacrifice fly and he almost got it, hitting a looping, towering shot just foul in left. Dixon’s Robbie Ramirez had a play on it but let it fall as it almost certainly would have scored the runner if he caught it.

Instead, Collie hit a hard single past the draw-in infield for the win.

“We just don’t really quit,” Collie said. “After seeing that same pitcher over and over, we kind of got a feel for what we were doing. Rosado came up big and we just do what we practice all year.”

Leslie went the distance and allowed three hits through the first seven innings. He finished with four strikeouts and allowed two walks.

It was a performance Dixon coach Jason Burgess called a gem.

“He was lights out,” Burgess said. “Everything was working. He was lights out until that eighth inning, and to be honest for him to get to the eighth inning with the way he’s been all year with his arm, that’s pretty impressive. He threw a gem and didn’t deserve to lose, that’s for sure.”

Tyler Townsend was also dealing for Sycamore, but his pitch count got high and he left after six innings, allowing one unearned run. He allowed three hits, two in the sixth in which Dixon scored its only run.

Townsen walked Bryce Feit, his fifth of the game, then Quade Richards laid down a bunt single. Aiden Wiseman followed with a bunt and Townsend tried to make an off-balance throw but threw it away, allowing a run to score that tied things up at 1-1. Leslie followed with a double, but Townsend struck out the next two to escape the jam. He struck out nine in the win.

Sycamore scored its first run in the fourth. Severson singled to break up Leslie’s perfect game, then after he got to third Collie hit a sacrifice fly to center that scored him.

The Spartans had a chance to push the lead past 1-0 in the fifth after Townsend doubled and Lojko walked. Severson ripped a shot down the third base line, but Bryce Feit snagged the ball then beat Townsend back to third to record the unassisted double play and end the jam.

Sycamore didn’t get another baser unner until the eighth.

“The fire was there,” Burgess said. “We knew we were overmatched with depth and arms like they have over there. But I told them we have to keep this thing close and give ourselves a shot at the end. To make plays like – and Bryce made a couple plays like that today.”

The Spartans will advance to the Class 3A Sycamore Sectional after winning their third straight regional. They finished third in the state last year and will face Wheaton Academy at 4 p.m. Wednesday.

With 11 seniors and three sophomores on the roster, the season comes to an end for the Dukes.

“I can’t be more proud of my guys and what they’ve done,” Burgess said. “They’re a great group of kids. ... They deserve a better fate because they deserve it, but that’s the way the baseball game is, it’s tough, it sucks.”

Have a Question about this article?