Pitching is typically the dominant factor in the early part of the baseball season.
Grayslake North's Dom DiProva and Jason Petrillo followed the script Saturday, as they combined on a 3-hit shutout over visiting Lakes 5-0 in Game 1 of a nonconference doubleheader.
"DiProva had great control," said coach Andy Strahan, whose Knights improved to 6-2. "Petrillo was around the dish and was able to throw his curveball for strikes and spotted his fastball where he wanted to. He was able to get groundouts and flyouts."
DiProva (2-0) pitched 4 innings, gave up 2 hits, struck out seven, walked one and hit a batter.
Petrillo pitched the final 3 innings to earn his first save. He allowed 1 hit, struck out three and did not walk a batter.
"I was able to throw strikes and I had a great defense behind me," Petrillo said. "That helped me out."
The Knights scored 2 runs in the bottom of the first as Ryan Gross doubled, JP Zalewski walked and Austyn Ruback doubled both runners in.
Grayslake North tacked on three more in the second inning. Gross doubled down the third-base line, Merrick Gentile bunted safely for a hit, Zalewski doubled both runners in, went to third on a wild pitch and scored on Ruback's sacrifice fly.
"We got a big lead and I started throwing strikes, just pounding the zone," DiProva said. "That's all I wanted to do."
In the fifth, Zalewski added a double and stole third base but was left stranded.
"It was a really nice sequence for JP," Strahan said. "He hit the ball down the (third base) line, hustled out of the box, never hesitated and then is able to pick up on the pitcher's move and is able to steal third and put us in a good position to score."
The Knights had only 5 hits, but took advantage of 5 walks.
Matt Putman had 2 hits for Lakes (0-4), while Joe Sisk had the Eagles' other hit.
"(DiProva) did a nice job of changing speeds," Lakes coach Ray Gialo said. "He kept the ball way from our guys, and we weren't able to square up too many balls. He got his off-speed (pitches) over when he had to and kept us off-balance. We didn't take some good swings, either, so that helped him out a little bit. He did a nice job."