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posted: 4/25/2010 12:01 AM

Healthy Baartmans gives Lake Zurich a big boost

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By Irv Solomon

Ryan Baartmans' spring trip to sunny Orlando, Fla., with his Lake Zurich baseball teammates wasn't all "magical."

He suffered a shoulder injury but is healthy now, apparently.

After having a pair of hits in a win over Wauconda on Friday, Baartmans followed up with a triple, double and 5 RBI to lead the Bears past host Evanston 10-2 in a nonconference game Saturday.

"It feels good to be back after being out for three weeks with the injury," Baartmans said. "I was just hoping to come back and try to help, but I didn't imagine that I would do anything like what I did today."

While the Bears finally have Baartmans back, they could have easily lost right fielder Justin Russell to injury against Evanston.

Russell shined defensively with two outstanding catches.

In the third inning, with runners on first and second, Evanston's Billy Farrow hit a deep flyball to right field.

Russell raced back to the fence and crashed into it, but made the catch.

While Russell lay on the ground, both runners tagged up and raced all the way home.

"I saw the ball and I thought I had misplayed it," Russell said. "I just caught it and then ran into the fence. I hit my head on the door (leading to the bullpen). It really didn't hurt me but it just surprised me."

In the fifth inning, Russell victimized Farrow again, making a diving catch of Farrow's blooper into right field.

"That time I got a good jump," Russell said. "I called (Anthony) Orlando off the ball. I'm just trying to help the team out and make the catches. That's my job out there."

Winning pitcher Dan Johnsen (2-1) turned in his best outing of the season, according to Bears coach Gary Simon, giving up only 2 runs (1 unearned) on only 3 hits. He struck out eight and did not allow any walks over 6 innings.

Johnsen also helped himself at the plate with an RBI single in the first, while Danny Minogue had a single, double and drove in 2 runs. Orlando contributed a double.

Lake Zurich (10-10) extended its winning streak to three.

"Just like (Friday), when we put all three phases of the game together, it ends up with a win," Simon said. "Danny (Johnsen) was outstanding today. He had a sore arm in the beginning of the season so he couldn't pitch. We threw him two innings and then a third. He could have finished this game."

Evanston (13-5) saw its four-game winning streak snapped.

"Lake Zurich is a real good team," Evanston coach Frank Consiglio said. "Their approach is solid. I like the way they go up and go the other way with pitches and work the counts and things like that. We have some pitchers who are trying to get to a certain point and we just didn't come at them with our best."