McHenry County College freshman Mason Schwalbach swatted a solo home run in the bottom of the ninth to give the Scots a best-of-three series sweep of College of Lake County on Friday and send them into the NJCAA Region 4 Division II Tournament.
The Scots (38-16) swept Lake County 4-1 and 10-9, after trailing the Lancers, 9-2, heading into the bottom of the sixth in the second game.
MCC scored two runs in the sixth, added four in the seventh and one on the eighth before Schwalbach’s dramatic shot.
No. 3-seeded MCC and No. 1 seed Madison College both won their sectional series on Friday. They await the other two teams for the Region 4 Tournament, which starts Friday at Madison College.
The winner of the Region 4 Tournament advances to the NJCAA Division II World Series. MCC finished seventh in the 2016 World Series.
Schwalbach (Marian Central) finished 5 for 6 with two RBIs and two runs scored in Game 2. Alex Janke (Huntley) was 2 for 5 with two RBIs, Jaden Hackbarth was 2 for 4 with three runs and two RBIs, and Billy Howard was 3 for 5 with three RBIs.
Tyler Castro (Huntley), Josh Notriano (Johnsburg) and Leo Falletti each added two hits. Notriano (2 for 5) scored twice and had a double. Luke Uhwat (Richmond-Burton) pitched two scoreless innings in relief for the win.
Schwalbach (2 for 4, double, two RBIs) and Janke (2 for 4, two runs) each had a homer in Game 1, and Hackbarth drove in one run. Grady Gorgen went all nine innings for the win, allowing a run on eight hits with 10 strikeouts and a walk.