CRYSTAL LAKE – Crystal Lake Cardinals White pitcher Ryan Ignoffo had everything under control.
The right-hander did not allow St. Charles Express to hit a ball out of the infield in 4 2/3 innings. He was almost perfect, striking out eight and making playing defense easy for his teammates.
“He had a wicked curve,” said Cardinals catcher A.J. Henkle, who will be an eighth grader at Huntley's Marlowe Middle School. “It was working and he was throwing some heat. We just had to get a couple runs to win the game.”
The Cardinals had no problem scoring either. They dropped five runs on the Express in the fifth inning for a 9-1, five-inning victory in the McHenry County Youth Sports Association 13U International Invitational Championship.
The Express had one runner reach base against Ignoffo, on an error, before he reached his inning limit. He had thrown 4 1/3 innings Saturday to beat the Cary Trojans, so Anthony Wilson came in for the last out and completed the no-hitter.
“They just couldn’t hit my curveballs,” said Ignoffo, who was voted the tournament’s MVP. “It’s just amazing (to win). We’ve won a lot of championships this year. It felt really good. I knew my teammates had my back on any ground balls.”
Ignoffo, who will be a freshman at Cary-Grove, induced five ground-ball outs and one pop-up. Cardinals coach Mike Keegan wished he had pulled Ignoffo earlier Saturday so he could have finished the title game.
“He was fantastic,” Keegan said. “He got ahead in the count and didn’t walk a batter. It was tough. We gave up only two runs (in the semifinals and championship game).”
The Cardinals White finished their season at 59-20 with seven tourney championships, two runner-up finishes and one third place.
Trent Lacey, Alex Timmerman and Joey Walsh each drove in two runs for the Cardinals.
“We were in a tough bracket, but we made it through,” Keegan said. “We had great pitching, great defense and timely hitting.”