That’s all the Pekin baseball team needed to shut down Canton in the top of the seventh inning Thursday and try for a walk-off win in the bottom of the seventh.
A walk kept the Canton inning alive, putting runners at first and second base. Then Clay Schroeder’s two-run double broke a 2-2 tie and sent the Little Giants on their way to a 5-2 win in the Mid-Illini Conference game at Harry Anderson Field rescheduled from April 9.
Pekin fought back from an early 2-0 deficit to tie the game, scoring single runs in the second and six innings against two of Canton’s best pitchers.
Jon Kuethe’s RBI single in the second made it 2-1 and Evan Pogioli’s RBI single in the sixth made it 2-2.
Schroeder pitched 5 1/3 innings, striking out eight and allowing four hits. Teammate Dalton Crumley worked the final 1 2/3 innings and earned the win. He struck out three and gave up one hit.
Pekin (6-4, 2-3) fanned 11 times against the two pitchers. They struck out 16 times in an April 11 game against Canton with Schroeder striking out 14 in five innings.
Nathan Righi was the Dragons’ starting pitcher Thursday. He went 4 2/3 innings and struck out 10. Poglioli replaced Righi in the fifth and suffered the loss.
“We did a great job coming back to tie (Thursday’s) game, and we had a chance to go ahead in the sixth,” said Pekin coach Larry Davis. “We had runners on second and third with two out, but the inning ended with a strikeout.”
Pekin will travel to Morton at 7 p.m. Monday for a conference game.
SOFTBALL: It was not a grand day Thursday for the Pekin softball team.
Metamora beat the Dragons 10-0 in a Mid-Illini Conference game, bringing the day to an end by the run rule in the bottom of the sixth inning on a grand slam homer by Kaylee Hieronymus.
“That was a shot,” Pekin coach Skip Penning said about the slam.
The two hitters who batted before Hieronymus didn’t get the ball out of the infield but reached base, setting up Hieronymus’ homer.
“We didn’t play well and Metamora did,” Penning said. “We had chances to score. He had the bases loaded, runners on second and third, and runners on first and second, but we couldn’t get a big hit.”
Metamora pitcher Sidney Litviak, who is returning to the mound this season after missing last year with a knee injury, gave up only four hits to Pekin (2-7, 2-3) in throwing the shutout.
Pekin will play host to Springfield in a non-conference doubleheader Saturday. First pitch of the opener will be at 10 a.m.
BOYS TENNIS: Peoria Notre Dame defeated host Pekin 8-1 Thursday in a non-conference boys tennis match at the John Moss Courts rescheduled from Wednesday.
The Dragons’ lone win came from Peyton Swearingen at No. 5 singles. He defeated Felix Chung 6-2, 6-0.
Pekin will play in the Galesburg Invitational on Saturday.
Steve Stein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @SpartanSteve.