Grayslake Central's Ryan Dones and Coastal Carolina signee Blake Sterich of Sidwell (D.C.) matched goose egg for goose egg through four innings in Orlando, Fla., Wednesday.
But once the overpowering Sterich was removed from the game, Grayslake Central scored 2 runs in the fifth and broke the game open with 5 runs in the sixth en route to an 11-1 victory.
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"Getting their guy's pitch count up (85 pitches through 4 innings) was key in this game," said coach Troy Whalen, whose Rams improved to 2-1. "We didn't square many balls up against (Sterich), but the kids were able to run some deep counts and foul off tough pitches to make him work. He would be tough to hit in May, let alone seeing him in March, but Ryan Dones competed like he always does and turned in an impressive performance. "
Dones, who has both GC victories on the season after picking up a win in relief Monday, tossed 6 innings striking out 9 hitters and walking one while allowing only 1 hit.
After struggling offensively in their first two games, the Rams got their bats going. Kyle Balling had 3 hits, giving him 7 for the first three games.
"Kyle is seeing the ball extremely well for it being early in the season," Whalen said. "He is taking what the pitchers are giving him."
Also joining the 12-hit parade was Matt Loeffl with 2 hits. He also scored twice and knocked in 2 runs. Justin Allen added a pair of hits to go along with 2 RBI, and Justin Dooley had 2 hits as well.
The Rams play their final game in Disney today again Wassau West from Wisconsin.
Rocky Mountain (Colo.) 12, Libertyville 7: In Arizona, the Wildcats outhit their opponent 14-13 but came up short in their third game in as many days on their Spring Break trip.
Libertyville (2-1) got 3 hits apiece from Evan Skoug and Matt Vogt (3 RBI) and a home run from P.J. Neumann. Skoug and Matt Reed doubled.
Rocky Mountain broke up a 6-6 tie by scoring 5 runs in the bottom of the fourth.
Libertyville 3, Horizon (Ariz.) 2: On Tuesday in Arizona, Noah Greenberg drove in the tiebreaking run in the top of the seventh, and Michael Rogers pitched a complete-game 3-hitter for the Wildcats.
Libertyville (2-0) got 2 doubles and an RBI from Jimmy Govern. Greenberg and Kevin Calamari also doubled.
Mundelein 15, Cobden 2: At Cobden, the Mustangs completed a 3-0 day, winning the night game thanks to 2-for-3 efforts from Ryan Dolan and Derek Parola. Parola, J.T. Michalski, Zach Osisek and Mitchell Schulewitz all doubled.
Tyler Kozaritz earned the win for Mundelein, which plays three games again today.
Mundelein 13, Murphysboro 4: At Rent One Park in Marion, Ryan Dolan was 3-for-4 with a double to lead a Mustangs split squad, which produced 11 hits.
Southern Illinois-bound Will Farmer (triple) and Coe-bound Thomas Gandolfi both went 2-for-3 for Mundelein. Luke Adams was 2-for-4 with a double.
UIC recruit Mitchell Schulewitz notched the win.
Mundelein 2, Shawnee 0 (9 inn.): At Carbondale, Eric Davis' 2-run single in the top of the ninth lifted the Mustangs' split squad to a season-opening victory downstate.
Alex Carter had singled as part of the extra-inning rally. Shawnee lefty Adam Pennington -- who struck out 20 of 21 batters in a game last week -- had 13 strikeouts in 7 innings of work.
Nate Green earned the win in relief.