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Baseball: Garrett Goetz, Wolves ready to hit reset for regionals

Oswego East drops regular season finale to Plainfield East 7-5

Garrett Goetz and Oswego East are hitting reset.

The Wolves' baseball team has enjoyed a historic spring. Goetz and Co. started the season 18-0, shattering the previous program win record in the process.

The last week or so, though, has been a rough one, and after a 7-5 loss to Plainfield East in the regular season finale Thursday Goetz was already looking forward to regionals.

"We just haven't had the same energy as a team," Goetz said. "I think that improved a little bit today and I think we're turning in the right direction."

Oswego East (25-9, 9-9) was in the thick of the Southwest Prairie Conference race as late as a week ago. The Wolves dropped their last five conference games, but are going home with new intentions.

Oswego East hosts its own regional, opening Wednesday against the Bolingbrook/Naperville North winner. The Wolves have never won a regional.

"That's a priority - we want to bring that home for the first time," Wolves coach Matt Engelhardt said. "We've had a rough stretch, and we knew at some point in the season we'd hit some adversity. You can't take a day off in our conference. The kids responded here. Hopefully we can take some momentum from that small victory."

Oswego East was victimized by the long ball Thursday. Plainfield East's Jacob Havis homered with a man aboard in the second inning to erase an early 2-0 Wolves' lead.

The next inning, J.J. Zywiciel and Dalton Crowder both went deep to give the host Bengals a 6-2 lead.

Oswego East slowly chipped away at it. Goetz doubled in Justin Clark in the fourth to make it 6-3, and Colin Witzke singled in Dylan Jones in the fifth to close the gap to 6-4.

Jones doubled in Goetz in the sixth, but was stranded there. The Wolves had plenty of late-inning magic earlier in the year, but seemed to be missing that one extra hit Thursday.

"They had three really big hits and we were one big hit away," Engelhardt said. "We'll take getting ourselves the opportunities. We know in a game of numbers a lot of those will go our way. We got a lot of those early in the season. We're in a tough stretch but i was really happy with the attitude and effort today."

Goetz, hitting close to .400, continued his torrid spring at the plate. The Waubonsee recruit reached base all four times, going 3-for-3.

"I've been going pretty good," Goetz said, "hitting the ball hard. I've been fortunate to see the ball well."

Witzke and Clark, both sophomores getting a taste of varsity action, each went 2-for-4 with a run scored and RBI. Clark had an RBI single in the second inning, after Devon Zielke singled in a run in the first.

Goetz will likely get the ball to start the Wolves' playoff opener, and looks forward to the opportunity ahead.

"It's been a great season, and we want to keep it going into next week," Goetz said. "We want to keep setting that winning tradition at our school."

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