John Ringelestein was well-rested when he took the mound during Tuesday morning’s first-round game in the Phil Lawler Summer Classic.
The Oswego rising senior right-hander got ahead of most hitters, displayed a lively fastball and was able to get several Batavia hitters to chase his curveball as the Panthers held on for a 4-3 regional victory in the summer state tournament.
Ringelestein threw five shutout innings in the hot and humid conditions, surrendering just two hits.
None came over Ringelestein’s final three innings of work. He walked only two and struck out nine.
“I hadn’t thrown in a week so it’s nice to have the weekend off from travel [ball],” he said “In the past I’ve struggled locating my curveball, so I was really focusing on that while warming up and keeping the ball low. I knew if could do that, they’d get less hits off of me so I was able to do that.”
Oswego took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning on Andy Schimmoler’s two-out triple to right center.
“With a guy on third base there and it 0-0, I just wanted to get the ball on the barrel and get it into the outfield and score a run,” Schimmoler said. “I got a fastball on a 1-1 count right down the pipe and I murdered it. It felt good.”
The Panthers opened things up a bit in the bottom of the fourth inning. Garry Maynard and Luke Menard both were hit by pitches to set the stage for Kolten Kapusinski.
He proceeded to load the bases with a bunt single for Schimmoler.
Schimmoler’s single up the middle made it 2-0 and Jeffrey Crafton then followed with a two-run double to make it 4-0.
Batavia had to be relieved to see Ringelestein leave the game after five innings, especially after opening the bottom of the sixth with a base hit and an error to put runners on the corners against Schimmoler.
Justin Pelley tripled to make it a 4-2 game, but Schimmoler then did his best pitching, stranding Pelley at third by getting a pair of strikeouts and a pop out to end the rally.
Schimmoler walked two and gave up a run on a single in the top of the seventh with two outs but was then able to get a strikeout to end it.
“That’s baseball,” Schimmoler said. “You just got to be going at it.”
The Panthers had little time to rest as they jumped on a bus about an hour or so later to head to Rockford Boylan for a second-round game.
Their bats didn’t produce much, but they didn’t need to with Jeffrey Crafton’s younger brother Jason on the hill. He went the distance in a 3-0 victory.
“He probably only threw 80 to 85 pitches,” Panthers coach Joe Giarrante said. “And we did a great job defensively. We played a pretty clean game and ran the bases aggressively and got some cheap runs.”
Playing a doubleheader in two different locations about 80 miles apart proved challenging, but the Panthers fought through such adversity.
“I think we were a little exhausted at the end with the heat and everything,” Giarrante said. “It’s tough to play two like that, but that’s summer baseball.”
Oswego was scheduled to play St. Charles North at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Results were not available by press time. With a victory, they’d face either Kaneland or Crystal Lake South for the St. Charles East Regional championship on Thursday.