Sandgnats Back on the Road to Florida with a 3-2 Advantage

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Updated: August 16, 2017
CRYSTAL LAKE HERALD

SPORTS – GNATS NOW
Sandgnats Back on the Road to Florida with a 3-2 Advantage
Updated: November 22, 2025 – 10:30AM CDT

By Howard Heskin, Staff Writer – Twitter @HowardHeskin1

The never say die 2025 Sandgnats will return to Florida for game 6 of the PEBA Championship game Saturday for a 6:05 PM CST first pitch. On the mound will be Dean McNeil 2-2, 6.75 ERA, 1.53 WHIP against Christian George 2-0, 4.96 ERA, 1.84 WHIP.

The Sandgnats returned home down 0-2 in the seven game series with their backs against the wall after dropping two hard fought one-run games against the Featherheads. Game 3 featured big off-season acquisition, Miguel Cantú who pitched a masterpiece, striking out 7 and giving up no earned runs over 8 innings of play. Ramón ‘Doberman’ Contreras earned his 5th save of the season for the victory. Raúl Uribe hit a solo home run in the 3rd inning followed by an Orlando Barrón RBI single to seal the 3-0 victory for the Sandgnats.

Game 4 would showcase second year Raúl Uribe with 2 home runs and rookie Tony Parker who drew a walk to drive in a run to place the Sandgnats ahead for the victory. Tony “Mr. Nice Guy” Cuellar also had a strong performance holding Florida’s dangerous offense to 4 hits and 3 earned runs over 7 strong innings of pitching.

Critical Game 5 brought young Jim ‘Nitro’ MacCowan back to the mound after a strong game one performance. Nitro held the Featherheads to four hits and 2 earned runs to grab the victory. Raúl Uribe launched his 5th home run of the playoffs and his 4th of the PEBA Championship Series. Jarrod ‘Merlin’ Ricks also hit his 5th home run of the playoffs with a 2-run home run in the 1st inning to set the stage for the rest of Game 5.

Crystal Lake answered Florida’s power in games 1 and 2 with its own power in games 3-5. Question is which team who lives and dies by the home run will come out on top of this series? Impressive was Crystal’s ability to hang tough at home against one of the best road teams in baseball. Perhaps it was too cold for Florida up in suburban Chicago. But to win this series, Crystal Lake will need to take one on the road as now both teams have held their home field advantage.

“I’m proud of this team no matter what. Crystal Lake fans can respect how this team just keeps on fighting.” stated Crystal Lake’s skipper Joe Matterson.

Go Gnats!