Sometimes all it takes is getting past that one rough inning.
For Wheaton North senior pitcher Ben Cary, it hit him in the very first inning of Saturday's DuPage Valley Conference baseball game against Lake Park at Lisle's Benedictine University.
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Once he got through that first inning, however, Cary was more than fine.
Cary fired a 4-hitter as Wheaton North beat Lake Park 4-1 in the opening game of Saturday's DVC doubleheader event designed to raise money for the ALS Association Greater Chicago Chapter. The two-day event featuring all eight DVC schools concluded with Glenbard North's 6-1 victory over Glenbard East.
"When I came out I didn't have my best stuff in the first inning, and I could tell that," said Cary, who struck out eight and walked two in a 76-pitch complete game. "I've been sick for the last few days, so it was big coming out today. When you attack the zone and keep throwing strikes, and you have your teammates making plays behind you, that makes it real easy. That's how you win games."
Cary's outing started in the bottom of the first when Anthony Gallina led off with a single. He moved to second on an errant pickoff throw, went to third on a wild pitch and scored on a groundout. From that point on, Cary rolled.
He allowed only two Lake Park (6-9, 2-5) baserunners from the second through the sixth inning. One-out seventh-inning hits by Ethan Schulz and James Palmer brought the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the seventh, but Cary struck out the next two batters to preserve the win.
"It was our approach," said Lake Park coach Dan Colucci. "Their guy did a nice job throwing strikes, but we've got to have a better approach at the plate, especially with the wind blowing in like that."
Jacob Taschetta knotted the game at 1-1 in the fourth inning on an RBI triple. Wheaton North (8-8, 4-3) burst to a 3-1 lead in the sixth with a pair of runs and then added a seventh-inning insurance run on Greg Scandora's run-scoring single.
Greg Sells went 2-for-3 for Wheaton North. Lake Park losing pitcher Rhett Rapshus struck out nine and scattered 6 hits while going the distance.
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