Chico bounces back for Jones
Since the IHSA went to the four-class state tournament in the 2007-2008 school year, Jones has made themselves a fixture in the Class 3A bracket. The Eagles have won the sectional title in 2008 and 2009 and was looking to make it three of four when they hosted Kenwood Saturday afternoon. After some late extra-inning heroics the hosts earned a 5-4, eight-inning victory to earn a sectional title.
“Coming into the sectional I knew it meant a lot to us,’’ John Chico said. “We were disappointed last year and didn’t want that to happen again. We knew we had a team and came out here and played with confidence.’’
Despite, misplaying a ball in the top of the eighth inning to help give Kenwood the lead, Chico blasted a two-run homer to center in the bottom of the inning, sealing the game.
“I just had to come out there with confidence,’’ Chico said. “I knew the pitcher was good, but as soon as he gave me a pitch down the middle I just turned on it.’’
The Broncos (10-17) got on the board in the top of the first, scoring twice on Chico, who started the game on the mound for Jones. Both runs were scored on a throwing error by the catcher.
Jones (20-11) got one of the runs back on a two-out single by Martin Lara, but Lara was stranded on third to end the inning. The Eagles were able to take the lead in the second inning, however, as they got two runs on four walks and one hit. Kenwood walked 13 Jones players in the game.
Jones, who had runners on second and third with no outs in the bottom of the seventh but couldn’t score, was led by Chico, who had one of the four Eagles hits and drove in the two runs. Joe Casa, who pitched the last two innings picked up the win and drove in an run. Lara and Floyd Sumrall also drove in runs.
Brandon Holmes led Kenwood with four hits and scored two of the Broncos’ four runs.
It’s pretty cool to be the only Public League team still alive in the playoffs,’’ said Chico.