Schulewitz, Mundelein don't flinch vs. Lake Zurich
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Same ol' Mitch Schulewitz demeanor. Same ol' Mundelein baseball result.
Losing his no-hitter in the seventh inning failed to shake Schulewitz on Tuesday and, as a result, no team has yet to beat the Mustangs this season.
Schulewitz out-dueled fellow senior Austin Foote of Lake Zurich in a battle of Division I-bound pitchers on an overcast day, and host Mundelein won its second 1-0 game in a row to improve to 12-0 and 2-0 in the North Suburban Lake Division.
The UIC-bound Schulewitz allowed only a pair of singles in a complete-game effort. Foote, who will pitch for Indiana next year, struck out 12 in his 6 innings, giving up just 4 hits, including Will Farmer's RBI triple in the third.
"Their kid pitched fantastic. Foote pitched fantastic," said coach Gary Simon, whose Bears (1-10, 0-2) are off to their worst start in his 13 seasons. "(Schulewitz) was throwing a slider, I guess, that was breaking just a little bit and we were hitting a lot of groundballs. I feel bad for Austin."
Mundelein fans might have felt bad for their own pitcher after Joe Pizzolato led off the Lake Zurich seventh with a line drive just over the head of second baseman Derek Parola for the visitors' first hit. After a strikeout, Illinois-bound Anthony Drago reached on a single, as shortstop Farmer did a good job to keep the hard-hit ball in the infield.
But Schulewitz got a called third for his eighth strikeout and then induced a groundball to third baseman Mike Metz to end the snappy thriller, which lasted just an hour and 50 minutes.
"What I liked was, he gave up the no-hitter and you would have never known," Mundelein coach Todd Parola said of Schulewitz. "It was the same body language."
"I knew we had a game to win," Schulewitz said. "Everyone really battled their butt off in the box, and everyone was making plays (in the field), so I didn't want to let up on the team. The umpire had a pretty big zone so I just had to throw strikes."
Schulewitz's ability to throw the ball over the plate is a big reason why the right-hander has pitched like the ace Mundelein hoped he would be this season. He walked only one Lake Zurich batter — a one-out pass to Pizzolato in the fourth — and followed that by retiring the dangerous duo of Tanner Kiser and Drago.
Schulewitz (3-0) notched 9 groundball outs, and the Mustangs did not commit an error.
"His ball moves," Todd Parola said. "He keeps the ball down. A lot of guys beat it into the ground, and that really plays into our strength because we've been solid defensively in the infield. He's sneaky quick, too. It doesn't look like he's throwing that hard, but it gets up on you pretty quick. A lot of natural movement."
"We faced a good pitcher," tough-luck loser Foote said. "He threw his butt off."
Ditto for Foote, who fired another gem.
The 6-foot-3 lefty was coming off a 14-strikeout effort against Warren last week. In three starts this season, he's averaging better than two strikeouts per inning.
"He's the real deal," Todd Parola said. "He's impressive. We knew coming into this game we were going to find out what our weaknesses were offensively and, boy oh boy, he definitely exposed us in a number of ways, not only at the plate but on the bases. We didn't do a very good job of base running, and we couldn't get the bunt down, either. It's good to play a kid like that."
Foote walked Mundelein leadoff hitter Thomas Gandolfi with one out in the third, and Farmer followed by ripping a shot to center for a sliding triple. Logan Reckert led off the Mundelein fifth with a double, and Zach Osisek walked. But Foote struck out the next three batters.
Lake Zurich's ace fanned the side again in the sixth.
"Austin pitched unbelievable," said Schulewitz, who was 2-for-3 with a pair of clean singles into left field. "I haven't faced a kid like that pretty much my whole high school career and travel season. His fastball had a ton of tail on it. I think he touched 91 (mph) on the gun. He was tough to hit. But Farmer came up with that big triple, which was pretty much a game-changer."
When Schulewitz wasn't retiring Bears on strikes, he was letting his defense do its thing.
"I throw a lot of two-seam sinkers, so I just throw it in there," Schulewitz said. "Farmer's an amazing shortstop, Metz has played unbelievable at third this whole season, and Derek (Parola) at second has been great."
Despite its struggles, due in part to three players being suspended and another, first baseman Kiser, being sidelined until Tuesday with an elbow injury, Lake Zurich hasn't lost faith.
"We're squaring (pitches) up well," Foote said. "They're just not falling for hits. It'll come around, though. It's not how you start. It's how you finish. That's what our coach keeps telling us."
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