Scott Dawson put a stop to the committee process at Benet on Wednesday afternoon.
First the senior pitcher stopped Marian Catholic in its tracks, then he stopped coach Jeff Bonebrake's plans to go back to the bullpen, earning his first victory of the season in the Redwings' 11-4 win against Marian Catholic in Lisle.
"Scott did a great job. We started Pat (Callahan), but we were just going to go by committee today," Bonebrake said, adding he had planned to use three or four pitchers, with Callahan going no more than three innings. "Scott just came in and threw strikes and located the ball well and was exactly what we needed. That's as good as we've thrown the ball all year."
Dawson hasn't seen much action on the varsity the past two years, but he might have earned more Wednesday.
"It's a great day for him," Bonebrake said.
Marian Catholic led 2-0 going into the bottom of the second when Benet (8-10, 3-3 East Suburban Catholic Conference) broke loose with a 6-run inning, sending 11 batters to the plate.
"We needed that," Bonebrake said, noting his team was hitting just .265 entering the game. "We've been struggling at the plate. It was a good confidence boost for us. Some guys who just haven't really been swinging the bat really well did that today."
"We couldn't throw strikes," Spartans coach Phil Wail added. "We gave them free ones. It's hard to win a game in this conference if you're going to give it to teams. I think we had 18 first-pitch balls on hitters. That's not going to work. You fall behind hitters and they put the ball in play hard."
The Spartans (9-12, 3-3) recovered in the third inning, bringing a run in and moving a runner to third base with one out when Bonebrake brought Dawson into the game. The runner on third scored on a sacrifice fly to left field, making the score 6-4, but that was the first of 14 consecutive Marian Catholic outs to end the game.
Dawson struck out four, including the final two batters, and induced seven flyball outs.
"I owe a lot to my fielders," Dawson said. "My outfielders made every play, it seems like."
Benet scored 2 more runs in the fifth and 3 in the sixth to give Dawson a cushion to work with.
Freshman Patrick McInerney led the Redwings with 2 doubles, 2 RBI and a run scored. Senior Connor Reilly responded to moving to the No. 3 spot in the batting order from No. 2 by going 3-for-3 with 3 singles, a walk and 2 runs scored.