A little pitching help came from the former Carmel Catholic head coach.
That was Chuck Gandolfi, messing with -- in a good way -- Mundelein pitcher Mitch Schulewitz.
"Coach Gandolfi changed my arm slot,'' Schulewitz said. "And I got a lot more movement from it. I stuck with it and had a consistent arm slot."
On Monday in Lincolnshire, Schulewitz was handed the ball to secure a Lake Division title for the Mustangs. And the UIC-bound right-hander was brilliant, stopping the Patriots on three singles.
He needed to be that good. That's because his mound opponent, Iowa-bound Matt Allen, was almost as good. Allen at least can tell a story about how his team committed 4 errors in the first inning yet allowed just one runner to score.
Mundelein (24-3) clinched North Suburban Conference Lake Division title with a 3-0 win.
"Mitch's ball moves so much,'' said Mundelein coach Todd Parola. "He's been tough all year. It's pretty much a recipe for success."
The Mustangs scored what proved to be the winning run in a bizarre first frame. Mundelein went hitless against the offerings of Allen but used four infield errors and a hit batter (Schulewitz) to scratch out a run.
"That's the 10th time I've got hit this year,'' Schulewitz said. "I think I'm one away from a school record."
The Mustangs did get a run the old fashioned way in the second inning. Michael Metz led off the frame with a clean single. Thomas Gandolfi chased him to third with another hit, and Will Farmer's sacrifice fly brought in Metz with the second run.
The amazing thing is the 4 errors and the 2-0 deficit didn't seem to bother Allen, a senior.
"I threw strikes,'' Allen said. "I can't control what happens in the field. I needed to stay positive and keep our heads up. It's always about the next play."
Allen settled in after the rally. He allowed 2 singles in the 4 innings. He wasn't in any trouble until Ryan Dolan touched one off in the visitors' seventh inning for a solo homer.
"Allen was very good,'' Parola said. "He was outstanding. He didn't deserve to lose."
Stevenson coach Paul Mazzuca was gracious in defeat.
"Congratulations to Mundelein,'' Mazzuca said. "They out-pitched us and out-hit us. My kid (Allen) matched him pitch for pitch. Our pitching has been good all year but they are a better team."
While the top of the Stevenson lineup managed just 1 hit off Schulewitz, it was the bottom of the Pats' lineup that actually gave Schuelwitz the most trouble.
Eli Greenspon, batting ninth in the order, broke up the no-hit bid in the bottom of the third with a hit to right. Greg Vos, batting eighth, walked and moved to third on Greenspon's hit. Sean Wilson, batting seventh, had Stevenson's last hit in the fifth inning.
Schuelwitz, seemingly getting stronger as the game went on, struck out the side in the sixth inning.
"He was very hard to hit,'' Allen said.Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.