High School Game of the Week - May 15 2013
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Schaumburg pitchers quiet Prospect bats
By Rob Valentin
BASEBALL—Schaumburg pitcher Josh Rahn entered Tuesday’s game against Prospect in a tough situation.
The visiting Saxons were clinging to a one-run lead in the bottom of the sixth with two outs and runners on first and second. Rahn struggled with his location and walked the bases loaded.
“I just couldn’t find my spots,” Rahn said. “The ump was calling them low and I was throwing them high. I just couldn’t locate it. Coach always calls upon me to be the closer and that’s what I try to do, help the team out at the end of the games.”
Rahn, however, made some adjustments and got out of the inning when outfielder Kyle Reinhart made a diving catch on the Knights’ Patrick Hipple blooper to right. Schaumburg added a run in the top of the seventh and Rahn set Prospect down in order in the bottom of the frame to give the Saxons a 2-0 victory.
While the pitching was very good, the defense may have been even more instrumental in Tuesday’s win.
“Kyle Reinhart had a big diving play on a slicing ball,” Rahn said. “Ryan Woloszyk at third made a diving play at third (in the seventh). It was really just a good team win today
Schaumburg put the first run on the board in the top of the first. Joe Franz led off with a walk and moved to second on a wild pitch and Joe Petritis followed with an RBI single that gave the Saxons the only run they would need.
Dylan Roskin was solid as the starter for Schaumburg scattering four hits in 5 and 2/3 innings of work. Roskin struck out three while walking one.
“I was hitting my spots and my fielders had my back in the field; They were catching everything out there,” said Roskin, whose only real jam came in the sixth inning when Rahn entered in relief. “I know what (Josh) is capable of and he picked me back up and got me out of there.”
The Saxons run in the seventh came after Connor Quinn doubled to left and Brad Schwind singled to right putting runners on the corners. Rahn came to the plate knowing he had to do whatever he could to get the run in. While hitting into a double play isn’t what a batter wants, it was enough to get the job done and Rahn was fine with it.
“Anything up the middle or to the right side, I was just trying to get Kyler Bruner in from third,” Rahn said. “Just put a 2-0 lead to help me secure the win in the seventh.”
Prospect starting pitcher Welby Malczewski had a pretty solid outing ruined. He threw six innings of one hit ball, striking out seven while walking four. While the Knights offense struggled, Malczewski was only worried about what he could have done better.
“Personally, I have to do better,” he said. “I’m not going to point fingers at my team. I have to pitch better.”
The Knights will try to get ready for the state playoffs that begin next week. Malczewski likes his team’s chances with how strong the team’s pitching is.
“We’ve had our ups and downs but our outlook right now is me and (Jordan) Fedro can handle anyone pitching wise,” he said. “If our offense turns around, watch out.”
High School Game of the Week - May 7 2013
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Pitching leads Maine South past Glenbrook North
By Rob Valentin
SOFTBALL— The 1-2 punch of pitchers Nina Anderson and Jenna Christie was more than enough for Maine South on Monday as they shutdown Glenbrook North 3-1 to pick up a Central Suburban League South win.
Anderson threw four innings of shutout ball while Christie came in and relieved her, giving up just one run in three innings of work.
“Jenna’s pitched a majority of our games but I’m starting to pitch more because our second pitcher is injured,” Anderson said. “Jenna’s faster than me and has a couple more pitches but I think it’s good for each pitcher to have different speeds.”
“Nina threw a great game so coming in after her was going to be competition but I had my defense behind me so that was good,” Christie said. “(Glenbrook North) was late on some swings. My movement wasn’t that good and my curveball wasn’t working today.”
Maine South took a quick 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Emily Suwanski led off with a triple and Ciara Gaskin followed with a hit-by-pitch. Anderson grounded out but Gaskin moved to second on the play.
With two runners in scoring position Regan Carmichael hit a pitch down the first base line. The first baseman couldn’t handle it and Suwanski and Gaskin scored for the 2-0 advantage.
Neither team could make a dent in the scoreboard after that until the Hawks added a run in the bottom of the fifth inning when a bit of déjà vu occurred.
Suwanski led off with a triple and Gaskin was hit by a pitch again. This time, however, Anderson would get the RBI with a groundout to short, allowing Suwanski to score.
The Spartans didn’t go quietly in the top of the seventh. Courtney Chron led off with a double to center but Julia Rosenson grounded out and Lauren Smeds popped out.
Down to its last out, Glenbrook North kept fighting. Pitcher Jenny McTague, who had three hits in the game, slammed a single to left field to score Chron. Alena Marovitz singled to center putting runners on the corners and bringing the go-ahead run to the plate. But a groundout by Stefanie Katsnelson to short ended it.
“It was a team effort,” Anderson said. “We have a great defense and they really helped me out. I always know when I pitch the ball, even if it gets hit I always know we have our defense to back me up.”
The Spartans had plenty of base runners but just couldn’t capitalize.
“I don’t think we were ready mentally,” McTague said. “We started a little slow but once we got the hang of things we kind of battled back towards the end. I guess it was just too late.”
Glenbrook North will look to bounce back quickly as they head down the homestretch of the regular season. McTague likes her squad and thinks they can do well in the playoffs.
“I’m really excited and I definitely think this is one of the better teams we’ve seen for us in my four years,” McTague said. “I’m really excited to see what we can bring in the playoffs. We have to strong hits together, when we can do that we’re really effective. We make a lot of great defensive plays and I think if we can put both together we’ll be really great.”
High School Game of the Week - April 30 2013
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Strong seventh inning propels Lane past Resurrection
By Rob Valentin
SOFTBALL—With the game on the line, all Lane Tech’s Hailey Pieruccini had to do was stand there and watch.
Pieruccini found herself at the plate against Resurrection on Monday with the game tied, the bases loaded and a 2-0 count in the top of the seventh.
“I was really mad because (head coach George Stavrakas) gave me the take sign and the pitch that came in was a strike and it was my pitch and I wanted to drive it,” Pieruccini said. “But that was me being selfish, wanting to be an individual player. I knew as a team I had to take that pitch.”
Pieruccini wasn’t given the take sign on either of the next two pitches but she laid off both and both were called balls, forcing in the go-ahead run on a walk as the Indians topped the Bandits 6-3.
“I ended up getting walked and that’s an RBI and we wind up winning with that,” Pieruccini said. “This is great because I knew almost everyone on (Resurrection) and in the stands. It makes you feel that much better to prove to everyone that (Chicago Public Schools) can be champions too.”
Lane got the scoring started in the top of the third inning when Kayla Garcia crushed a two-run homer to dead center.
“It was a nice way to start off the game, get the lead early,” said Garcia, who has three home runs on the year. “After I saw it off the bat, I knew it was going.”
Resurrection, however, was able to tie it back up in the bottom of the frame. Shannon Even led the inning off with a solo homer to left center. Later in the inning, Rachel O’Donnell was able to cross home plate after a sacrifice fly by Courtney Grasz.
The Indians retook the lead in the fifth inning after Corrie Lucchesi worked her way around the bases. She led the inning off with a bunt single, stole second and found her way to home plate after a paid of sacrifice flies by Emily Espinosa and Garcia.
The Bandits were able to get the run back in the bottom of the sixth after a RBI groundout by Even plated Kate Moriarty.
But Resurrection would be done in by Lane’s monster inning in the seventh. With two outs, Eva Stees was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Pieruccini drew the bases-loaded walk and Alyssa Santana followed with a two-run single to center.
The Bandits got a pair of runners on base in the bottom of the seventh but a pair of groundouts ended the game.
“It’s really good to beat Res because it’s probably our biggest non-city rival,” Garcia said.
Being on the losing end wasn’t fun for the Bandits.
“It was just a little miscommunication and missed balls,” Even said. “I know a couple girls on the team so they’re a rival.”
Lane is looking to keep its streak of dominance in the city playoffs when they kick-off in mid-May. The Indians have won 14 straight city championships.
“This year there’s going to be some competition but we’ll pull it out,” Garcia said.
High School Game of the Week - Apr 23 2013
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Red Devils cruise to team title
By Rob Valentin
BOYS TENNIS—Hinsdale Central’s Martin Joyce was on fire in the cold, Saturday at the Jay Kramer Invitational hosted by the defending state champion, Hinsdale Central Red Devils.
Despite temperatures that hovered in the low 40’s, Joyce, who took fourth place in the state finals last year, easily cruised to the No.1 singles title, winning all three of his matches without dropping a set.
“It definitely bothers me a lot,” Joyce said. “I’d rather be playing in the nicer weather. It was an adjustment I had to make but it turned out okay.”
The 6-foot-2 sophomore, who is 10-1 this year, started the day with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over New Trier’s Scott Bickel. Joyce then beat Deerfield’s Toby Ma 6-4, 6-2 before toppling New Trier’s Alex Galoustian 6-1, 6-4 in the championship.
“It was good that I could get on and not drop a set because those guys can be pretty dangerous in the third set,” Joyce said. “(Ma and Galoustian) are two of the best guys in the state. I came in, was really focused from the start and tried to stay focused the whole way through.”
Galoustian just couldn’t find an answer for Joyce on Saturday. Galoustian, who sports a 7-3 record, has lost to Joyce twice this season.
“I don’t think I stuck to the game plan,” Galoustian said. “It just seemed like nothing was really working. I just tried to keep my ground strokes deep, to not have him on offense.”
Hinsdale Central showed its dominance in the doubles bracket as they took both first and second place. Defending doubles state champs Alex Hagermoser and Peter Heneghan nabbed first after knocking off teammates Eddie Grabill and Harold Martin, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.
“You try to approach (the match) the same way but it’s hard to, because we’ve known these kids for years and practice with them every day,” Heneghan said. “You know each other’s game so well and you don’t want to get too intense because you see them tomorrow.”
Heneghan and Hagermoser upped their record to a perfect 10-0 this season. Both players agreed that Saturday’s championship match was the toughest they’ve played this season. They won their first two matches on Saturday 6-0, 6-0 and 6-1, 6-0.
“We crushed the first two (opponents) and we just had this fantastic match with our other doubles team,” Heneghan said. “It shows how fantastic our depth is.”
Grabill and Martin were left wondering what could have been. The duo won the first set and in the third set they had a commanding 3-0 lead.
“It was kind of a choke,” Martin said. “We just had a lot of chances but couldn’t [put them away].”
“We were probably just going for a little too much,” Grabill added. “We made a couple mistakes down the stretch.”
Hinsdale Central had no trouble capturing the team title scoring 37 points while New Trier was second with 23.5 points. Deerfield finished in third place with 17 points while Barrington took fourth with 14.
New Trier’s Will Szokol and Max MacKinnon beat Oak Park-River Forest’s DJ Arends and Jonah Philion 6-4, 6-4 for third place at No. 1 doubles while Deerfield’s Toby Ma topped teammate Jack Kasbeer 6-4, 4-6, 10-4 for third place at No. 1 singles.
High School Game of the Week - April 16 2013
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Maine West rallies past Highland Park
By Rob Valentin
BOYS VOLLEYBALL—The big-time hitting ability of Maine West’s front line came through when the Warriors needed it most.
After losing the first game against Highland Park on Monday night, Maine West needed a little surge. Glen Beatty and Tomasz Ksiazkiewicz were able to provide it as the Warriors rallied for a 17-25, 25-13, 25-23 Central Suburban League North victory.
“We were just pulling off kills and going off and we had to keep that momentum,” said Beatty, who finished with 12 kills. “(Tomasz), I love him, he’s my middle and I’m going to pull through for him. We go out there together and do it big.”
“We had a big win tonight,” said Ksiazkiewicz, who had 14 kills. “We had a couple mental mistakes the first game but we got it back on track.”
Maine West had to pick up the win without their coach, Randy Tiller, who was in the hospital.
“We’re a close-knit team and when our coach isn’t there we have to come together and do it for him and do it for ourselves,” Beatty said.
The Warriors were sluggish in the first game even though it was close early on. The two teams were knotted at 11-11 but unforced errors including net serves caught up with them and led to the 17-25 loss.
“It was a little too much excitement and we weren’t playing at our own level,” Beatty said. “We were playing at their level. We just needed to find our momentum and keep going.”
“What (assistant coach Audra Dean) told us is that we have to get on our level,” Ksiazkiewicz added. “We had to get on track, breathe and we’ll do just fine.”
The second game started tight with a 5-5 tie, but it was almost all Maine West after that. The Warriors scored 15 of the next 20 points for a commanding lead. Highland Park had a difficult time stopping Ksiazkiewicz and Beatty at the net.
Both teams brought plenty of intensity to the third game. The biggest lead in the game was four points. Maine West was helped out by four clutch aces, three coming from Kurt Fester as the Warriors took a 21-17 lead.
But the Giants scored four of the next five points to get right back in the game.
With the score tied at 22-22, Beatty came through with a monster kill. Ksiazkiewicz added a big hit of his own on the next point giving the Warriors match point.
A kill by Jonah Baim gave Highland Park a momentary reprieve as they pulled within 24-23, but the game would end on the next point after a net violation during a short rally.
“I felt like we had the momentum,” Baim said. “Our team was playing well, we were coming together, we were talking. I felt like we had it but they pulled it out. Give them credit.”
The loss puts both teams at 1-2 in conference but it doesn’t change the Giants’ attitude one bit.
“We want to be playing our best volleyball at the end of the season when the state tournament comes and that’s our goal,” Baim said.
High School Game of the Week - April 8 2013
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Hinsdale Central demolishes foes at Benet Team Tournament
By Rob Valentin
Hinsdale Central put together a spectacular performance at the IHSA state final last year winning the state title with a total of 50 points. Their two doubles teams took first and fifth and No. 1 singles player Martin Joyce was fourth.
What’s hard to believe is that the Red Devils are even better this season.
Joyce returns for his sophomore season and both doubles teams return as well. Add in sophomore Eddie Grabill, who would be the top player on a lot of teams and Hinsdale Central looks to be on pace to do something special in 2013.
The Red Devils were already in mid-season form on Saturday as they cruised to the title in the Benet Team Tournament at Downers South. Hinsdale Central went 13-2 in matches, as it won all three team matches convincingly.
Joyce began the day by downing Moline’s Justin Rumley 6-3, 6-2 before defeating Downers South’s Tony Leto 6-3, 7-6(4) in the semifinals. Joyce faced another standout player, New Trier’s Alex Galoustian in the finals and earned the win 6-4, 6-4.
Hinsdale Central’s top doubles team of Alex Hagermoser and Peter Heneghan started the day a little slow but once they got going, they were unbeatable. The duo lost the first set of the day to Moline’s Jed Wood and Pranav Puri 2-6 but bounced back winning the next two sets 6-3, 10-1.
Hagermoser and Heneghan knocked off Downers South’s Cody Freischlag and Christian San Andreas 7-6, 6-1(4). In the finals they took care of New Trier’s Chas Mayer 6-3, 6-2.
“We actually had a tough first one against Moline (Jed Wood and Pranav Puri) where we were down a set and a break and then we kind of turned it on after that,” Heneghan said. “In the next two (matches) it started out close and then we were able to separate. A lot of that comes from having played together so long. We knew what we had to do to get it done.”
Being the defending doubles state champs, Hagermoser and Heneghan know they’re going to get the other team’s best every single match. It’s like they have a big bulls-eye on their back.
“I even noticed against Deerfield, in our match on Wednesday, we won the first 6-0 and they won one game in the second and they all got pumped up and everyone started cheering for them,” Heneghan said. “It was a big deal for them just to be in the match at that point. It definitely makes it harder in a lot of ways. You can’t sneak up on anyone. Everyone has us circled on their schedule.”
“It’s definitely different from what we had before,” Hagermoser added. “Especially sophomore year, we were under the radar. People didn’t know who we were.”
Also having a nice day at the meet was Deerfield’s Jack Kasbeer. With the Warriors top singles player dealing with some foot problems Kasbeer stepped in and played two matches at No. 1 singles, winning both of them. Kasbeer beat Barrington’s Varun Parekh 6-0, 6-4 and Downers South’s Leto 6-1, 6-4 and won his match at No. 2 singles, topping New Trier’s Wyatt Mayer 6-2, 6-0.
“It was kind of tough with the wind but I kept my mental game in check,” Kasbeer said. “I was looking to be attacking and everything just seemed to fall in place. My game is looking good and hopefully I can keep it up.”