Glenbard South ace Roger Dyrda only needs to hear three words when he starts struggling with his command.
"We say, 'Glove to chest,' " Raiders coach Mike Riley said. "Sometimes, he'll fly open with his lead arm.
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"Once he closes up, (the ball) usually goes right back in the zone."
Dyrda was in a zone on Monday.
The senior right-hander allowed just 1 unearned run and 2 hits in 7 innings, and Glenbard South's offense did just enough to escape with a 2-1 Metro Suburban Conference victory over Timothy Christian at home. Dyrda controlled the game after a slow start, striking out six against 2 walks and hitting the strike zone with 55 of his 86 pitches.
"I felt pretty good," Dyrda said. "First inning was a little rocky, but I made adjustments."
Dyrda improved to 6-1 as Glenbard South (12-8, 5-2) handed the Trojans their eighth consecutive loss.
The Raiders scored both of their runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, taking advantage of some untimely miscues by Timothy Christian (5-13, 2-8).
Tony Tenuta got the inning rolling with a one-out single to left off of starter Chris Ridolphi. It looked as if the Trojans might escape with an inning-ending double play when Justin Joseph smashed a line drive right at junior first baseman Brandon Scott, but the ball glanced off the heel of Scott's glove and rolled into foul territory.
Timothy Christian still had a chance to force out Tenuta at second base after Scott recovered the loose ball, but his throw sailed high and into left field. Ridolphi walked Carl Sanders to load the bases, and then allowed the tying run to score when his breaking ball in the dirt got past senior catcher Sam Meyer.
The winning run scored two batters later when a groundball got away from junior shortstop Emerson Bandemer.
"Glenbard South is a very good team and we're right there with them," Timothy Christian coach Jim Snoeyink said. "If we get one or two more hits and make one or two more plays, it goes our way instead of theirs."
Ridolphi suffered the hard-luck loss but was dominant in his own right, scattering 4 hits in 6 innings and striking out five. The senior right-hander didn't allow a hit until the bottom of the fourth, when Doven Blake laced a double that cut through a steady wind and rolled to the wall in left.
"At least two or three times, he threw 2-0 curveballs for a strike," Riley said. "There's not a lot of pitchers who have the confidence to throw a curveball on a 2-0 count.
"I think the last three innings we started getting on the curveball better, but through the first four innings, he sailed along pretty well."
Timothy Christian took advantage of a rare bout of wildness from Dyrda in the second inning, drawing two straight four-pitch walks and scratching across a run when Luke Davidson hit a high chopper that caught Tenuta between hops at third.
But the Glenbard South defense -- particularly shortstop Mitch Gasbarro -- was excellent from then on, and the Trojans didn't threaten again until junior Ethan Bardolph roped a two-out double to left in the seventh.
Dyrda promptly struck out junior Phil Stanton to end the game.
"I hung a pitch I should've gotten down," Dyrda said of Bardolph's double. "Then I just thought, 'First-pitch strike, then work the batter.' That's really about it. I don't really think too much."