The Cicero Rattlers returned from their winter break fired up and ready to go as they met up with their friends from the Jr. Chiefs for their first game of 2024.

With a snow storm outside, the Rattlers returned to the Pine Grove Arena on Saturday for their first game since edging out the Heaters in December.

On this night, the Rattlers defense made the plays they needed to make – plus some epic plays worthy of making a highlight reel.

The score went back and forth, but a 5-run 5th inning for the Chiefs left the Rattlers trailing 12-10.

With the Rattlers trailing 16-15 in the 7th inning, Dean Capece drove in the go-ahead run off a hard hit line-drive that brought in 2 runs.

The Chiefs had one last chance at bat with two outs, a runner on first base, and the tying run on 3rd base. Ryan Hooser (shortstop) made a diving, highlight-reel catch of a hard-hit ground ball, and then lunged to second base for the game-ending out.

Hits on the day came from Schlecht 4, Hunter Woods 4, Capece 4, Hooser 3, Vulcano 3, Balamut 2, D’Amico 2, Sullivan Woods 2, Falcone 1, Hough 1.

Other memorable moments:

Ryan Hooser double-play by fielding a hard ground ball, stepping on 2nd base and throwing a dot to TJ Vulcano at first base.

Liam Hough (3B) fielded a ground ball and tossed a rocket to Dean Capece (2B), who made an amazing catch at second base for an inning-ending out. Hough also made a nice tag in the base line for an out earlier in the game.

Nice double hit by Max Balamut.

Hard ground ball to Ryan Hooser (SS) for a put-out to Dean Capece (2B).

Joey Falcone fielded a tough GB at third base and beat the base runner to third base for an out.

Sullivan Woods made a quick throw from right field to first base for an out.

Nice scoops at first base by Balamut and Vulcano.

MVP on this night went to Carter Schlecht, who went 4-4 at the plate, which included a momentum-shifting, 3-run 4-bagger thanks to some impressive base running.

Team quote: Keep Calm and Carry On