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posted: 3/17/2012 6:08 PM

Addison Trail gets off to good start

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By D.J. Wanberg
Daily Herald Correspondent

Sometimes, it just takes one big inning.

Addison Trail is an example of that. Saturday morning, in its baseball season opener, the Blazers shelled visiting Montini pitching for five runs in the first inning. The Broncos settled down the rest of the way, though, and allowed just one more earned run.

The damage had been done, however, and the Blazers chalked up a 7-1 victory to begin 2012.

Addison Trail finished with 10 hits, including two homers, and got good pitching from starter Greg Schultz (1-0) and Mike Imperiale, who threw the final four innings.

"We were very aggressive. We didn't get catch the ball at times, but that was first-game jitters," said Blazers coach Steve Gilliam. "I liked our approach at the plate, our baserunning and our pitching."

The fireworks started immediately for the Blazers as leadoff hitter Scott Babica converted an 0-1 pitch into a double to left field. Anthony Catanese followed with a single to right, and that set the stage for Imperiale. The count was 1-2 when he blasted a homer to make it 3-0.

"I felt comfortable at the plate all day. It was an off-speed pitch that just hung in there," he said.

Winning pitcher Schultz allowed just one run on two hits and struck out six. Imperiale kept Montini hitless during his four innings and struck out five.

"I felt good (pitching). Toward the end I was getting fatigued and walked those two runners (in the seventh). I worked in the offseason to improve my pitching," Imperiale said.

Addison Trail's big first inning continued as catcher Nick Rybarczyk reached on a fielder's choice. Trevor Bermingham then sent an 0-2 pitch into orbit to score Rocco Costabile, running for Rybarczyk, and put the Blazers up 5-0.

Addison Trail made it 6-0 in the second as Babica hit a one-out triple to left and came home on a fielding error that put Catanese on base. The Blazers' final run came when Imperiale singled to right in the fourth with two outs, bringing home Kyle Bermingham, who had reached on a fielding error.

Montini's lone run came in the third. Leadoff hitter Chris Lentine walked and moved to third on a fielding error that put Eddie Bava on base. Then with two outs Chris Bartosz singled to right to bring home Lentine.

The Broncos' season had already started going into the game with victories over Northridge Prep on Tuesday and Westminster Christian on Thursday. Relief pitchers Tyler Quick, Mike Mangialardi and Robert Beavis allowed just one earned run and five hits over the final five innings.

"The kids are playing hard. Our relief pitching came in and did well," said Montini assistant coach Mike Bava.

Both teams get right back in action Monday. Montini is at Hinsdale Central at 4:30 p.m. Addison Trail hosts Lake Park at 4 p.m.

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