The Harper College baseball team capped off a perfect 7-0 week with doubleheader sweeps of Olive-Harvey College and Rock Valley over the weekend. The Hawks got four complete games from their starting pitchers and were led offensively by standout third baseman Kurt Becker (Palatine, Ill./Palatine).
Saturday vs. Olive-Harvey
Harper hosted Olive-Harvey and picked up a 6-2 win in game one. Dan Schlitter (Bartlett, Ill./Bartlett) (1-1) pitched seven innings of two-run ball with five strikeouts for his first win of 2014. Schlitter surrendered two runs in the first inning but shut down the Panthers for the remainder of the game.
The Hawks scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning. Theo Yfantis (Prospect Heights, Ill./Wheeling)' sac fly scored Kurt Becker (Palatine, Ill./Palatine), and Angelo Curtis (Chicago Heights, Ill./Marian Catholic)' two-out triple to left field tied the game. Curtis (2-for-2, two runs) scored on a passed ball to give Harper a lead. The Hawks scored twice in the bottom of the third and added a final insurance run in the fifth inning.
In the second game, the Hawks put up a five-run first inning and went on to win 13-1 in five innings. The Hawks got contributions up-and-down the lineup. Kurt Becker (Palatine, Ill./Palatine) went 1-for-2 and hit his first homer of the year. Austin Eliades (Palatine, Ill./Palatine) went 1-for-3 with three RBIs, and first baseman Jeremy Merino (Orland Park, Ill./Carl Sandburg) was 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs.
Starting pitcher Matt Ittersagen (Wheeler, Ind./Wheeler) (1-1) didn't allow an earned run over five innings and struck out five for the win.
Sunday at Rock Valley
Behind a 4-for-4 performance at the plate from Becker and a complete game from Steven Yfantis (Prospect Heights, Ill./Wheeling) (2-1), the Hawks beat the Golden Eagles 5-2 in game one. Yfantis scattered seven hits and allowed only one earned run in the victory. The Hawks scored two runs in both the first and fifth innings and added an insurance run in the sixth inning.
In game two, Chris Elliot went 3-for-5 with a homer and starting pitcher Dave Rzewnicki (Antioch, Ill./Antioch) (1-1) tossed a complete game as Harper (9-6, 4-0 N4C) topped Rock Valley (1-9, 0-4 N4C) 10-3. Elliot's two-run blast, his first of the year, came in the top of the fifth and extended the Hawk lead to 8-2. Becker (2-for-5, two RBIS), James Ioriatti (/Hersey) (2-for-5, two RBIs) and Neal Ori (Palatine, Ill./Palatine) (2-for-3) also recorded multi-hit games.
The Week Ahead
The Hawks host South Suburban College on Tuesday and Prairie State College on Wednesday. On Friday, the Hawks travel to Elgin Community College for a doubleheader starting at 2 PM. On Saturday, the Hawks play a doubleheader at Olive-Harvey College beginning at noon. Finally, the Hawks wrap up the week on Sunday with a home conference doubleheader against Joliet.