Gnats Return to Crystal Lake down 0-2

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Updated: August 15, 2017

CRYSTAL LAKE HERALD

SPORTS – GNATS NOW
Gnats Return to Crystal Lake down 0-2
Updated: November 18, 2025 – 10:30AM CDT

By Howard Heskin, Staff Writer – Twitter @HowardHeskin1

The Sandgnats will return home from Florida today down 0-2 in the best of 7 series. After two heartbreaking one-run losses, Crystal Lake will send Miguel Cantú to the mound for game 3 with the their backs against the wall.

Game one featured a strong performance from young star Jim ‘Nitro’ MacCowan who pitched 7 innings of 2 hit ball, but gave up 2 earned runs. That would not be enough this game. Crystal Lake would strike first with a Raúl Uribe RBI single in the first. However, the fatal run would come in the bottom of the 7th with the game tied 1-1. Dave Crocker would launch a 377ft home run on a 2-0 pitch to put the Featherheads up 2-1 for the win.

After a pitcher’s dual in game one, game two would be an offensive showcase that would go the distance. Former Sandgnat first baseman Wilson Muñóz would get the best of former Featherhead starting pitcher Dean McNeil by blasting a 391ft solo home run to tie the game at 7-7 in the bottom of the 5th inning immediately after Danny ‘Hitman’ Burton had just hit a 3 run home run.

Jarrod ‘Merlin’ Ricks would answer right back with a solo home run of his own in the 6th inning, but Florida would answer again with another solo shot by Jorge Martínez in the bottom of the 6th.

The Sandgnats would mount a rally in the top of the 9th inning with a Raúl Uribe two out single. Rubén Memde would keep the drive alive with another single. Then, Orlando Barrón would draw a walk to load the bases for rookie Ed Brown who would hit a clutch single to score Uribe. However, Memde would be called out as he tried for home leaving the Sandgnats up only one run in the bottom of the 9th.

Then, the fury of the Danny Burton show would begin. Burton launched a solo shot on a 0-2 count to tie the game off of much maligned and over paid closer Ramón ‘Doberman’ Contreras. The game would stay tied until the bottom of the 11th where Burton would launch his 3rd home run of the game with a walk off solo home run to an electric Jacksonville crowd. Danny Burton set the IL playoff extra-inning game record for home runs with 3 and tied the IL playoff extra-inning game record for runs with 4.

“Those were some tough hard fought games,” stated Gnat’s manager Joe Matterson “We have to defend our home field now against a very tough road club. I believe in these boys. They’ve shown a lot of heart so far. ”

Game 3 will feature Miguel Cantú 3-1, 2.75 ERA, 0.97 WHIP against Valentim Ornelas 1-2, 7.82 ERA, 1.58 WHIP.