Team effort makes Huntley 10-0
A no-hitter was nowhere to be found on the list of priorities for Huntley pitcher Eric Luecht and coach Andy Jakubowski.
And the lack of concern for individual achievements helps explain why the Red Raiders have no losses in 10 games after they won their Fox Valley Conference baseball crossover 10-0 over Woodstock North on a cold and windy Saturday afternoon in Huntley.
Luecht (3-0) said he wasn't aware he had not allowed a hit when Shane Zieman led off the fifth inning for Woodstock North (1-5, 0-5). Zieman hit a slow chopper and beat the throw from charging Huntley (10-0, 4-0) third baseman Bryce Only.
"I wasn't really focused on that," the junior right-hander said after finishing with 9 strikeouts. "Our defense isn't making many errors wherever it's hit. You know somebody is going to pick you up behind you and our offense is looking pretty good."
Luecht said the wind blowing in from right field aided the variance in speeds between his fastball and changeup. He threw 45 of his 68 pitches for strikes and his only walk was erased when Only and second baseman Tyler Albright turned a double play in the fourth.
"Eric's a great pitcher and he comes to play every day," said Huntley catcher Mark Skonieczny, who blasted his second homer of the year to left field in the sixth. "He pitches to contact and today he threw strikes very well, hit all of his spots and we played defense behind him as a team."
But Jakubowski said Luecht's day would have been complete even if the no-hitter was intact after five innings. Jake Wagner allowed 1 hit and had 3 strikeouts in two innings.
"Every start he gets better and better and once again his changeup was working," Jakubowski said of Luecht. "I'm real happy with his performance today.
"He did what we needed him to do and we needed Wags to get some work as well. (Luecht) did well and we wanted to build him up for his next start."
First baseman Tommy Kiriakopoulos made a nice play on a grounder to his right and tossed to Luecht for the final out of the third in Huntley's sixth straight errorless game.
"Mark caught a great game and if I threw one (changeup) out, I knew he would just body it up," Luecht said. "It's nice to have a defense like that behind you."
Huntley took advantage of 7 errors by Woodstock North to score 6 unearned runs and a pair of two-base throwing errors on grounders with runners at first and third in the second and third led to 4 runs. Three miscues in the fourth — including one on speedy Colin Lyman's sacrifice bunt — led to 2 more runs.
Albright had an RBI single and Skonieczny and shortstop Matt Sullivan both went 2-for-4 as Huntley finished with 12 hits.
"We're seeing the ball really well as a team and it's good to have everyone hitting on the team," Skonieczny said. "Everyone is contributing and playing as a team and we're having a lot of fun doing it."
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