Gnats Shutdown In Division Series to Aurora

Updated: February 19, 2018

[size=150]CRYSTAL LAKE HERALD[/size]

[b]Gnats Shutdown In Division Series to Aurora[/b]
Updated: October 12, 2026 – 11:30PM CDT

By Howard Heskin, Staff Writer – Twitter [url=]@HowardHeskin1[/url]

It’s been a few years since the pain of the epic melt down by [url=]Francisco ‘Yogi’ Robles[/url] against Aurora in the 2023 playoffs. Since then, The Gnats have had the best of Aurora in this epic Sovereign League rivalry. But no more – this time it was Aurora that would freeze the Gnats bats with a 4-1 Division series win with dominating pitching.

Wildcard MVP [url=]Jim ‘Bizarre’ Klein[/url] would go stone cold with only one hit in 17 at bats for the series. The team would be limited to only 2 home runs in the series with one each by [url=]Raul Uribe[/url] and [url=]Jarrod ‘Merlin’ Ricks[/url].

After a Game One 7-1 defeat the Gnats had a chance to sneak out of Aurora in a close game 2. However, closer [url=]Josh Hall[/url] would blow the save opportunity in the bottom of the 9th giving up a run scoring single to DH Pedro Ferringo. Crystal Lake would be unable to score in extra innings where Hall would then take the loss by giving up a run scoring wall-off single to 2B Theron Boswell. The door on this series would quickly shut despite Crystal Lake taking game 3 with a strong pitching performance by [url=]Dean McNeil[/url] and the pen being the bullpen we knew all season as tops in the Sovereign League followed with Joshua Hall redeeming himself with the save.

That win would be the end of the offensive production against Aurora with the Gnats scoring only one run each of the last two losses. In Game 4, the Sandgnats would manage only 5 hits but failing to drive in more than one run with two doubles. The Gnats would stay cold by again with only 5 hits in the Game 5 loss with only one double.

The players seemed dazed after the series loss. “They were just too good for us.” stated manager Joe Matterson. “We let our one chance to turn the series around slip and then they quickly shut the door on us. That’s what good teams do.” In the locker room after the game Matterson reminded his players, “Losing is part of the game. If you never lose, you are never truly tested, and never forced to grow. – come back next spring fresh and ready to work!”

“I just feel terrible that I couldn’t step up this time,” said Jim Klein in the post series press conference. “We just didn’t do our jobs – me included. But that doesn’t take away from what Aurora did. Those guys out pitched us – no doubt.”

The Sandgnats will now move to the off-season a little earlier than the last couple of years with some interesting roster questions this off-season. The core group will remain in tact for one more season, but [url=]Rob Raines[/url] will likely move on after his one year deal signing. Rob is likely to see increased interest by once again proving he is the measure of the fountain of youth. More on the off-season questions later with a fresh look once we digest this 2026 season.

Go Gnats!