You can mark down another DuPage Valley Conference first for Lake Park's baseball team.
With Monday's 4-2 victory over Naperville North in Roselle, the Lancers notched their first three-game conference sweep.
Contact information ( * required )
Considering Lake Park (9-10, 5-6) lost two of three in its first two DVC series and need a win last Tuesday to salvage its third game against Wheaton North, Monday's effort showed the progress since the start of the season.
"We got the sweep on them, that's pretty good," said Lancers starting pitcher Steven Joyce. "Getting those three wins was big. I know what team we are. We can hit the ball, we can pitch well, we have good defense. It just had to come together. Hopefully we'll start getting more 'W's here."
Joyce gutted out the complete-game victory by getting through two major jams in the first and sixth innings. With runners on first and second and no outs in the first inning, Joyce picked off the runner at second and eventually emerged unscathed.
The Huskies (7-11, 3-8), trailing 3-2 after five innings, put runners on second and third with no outs in the top of the sixth. A strikeout, flyout and groundout helped the Lancers maintain their 1-run lead.
The margin grew to 4-2 in the bottom of the sixth thanks to Mike Oczkowski's RBI single. Joyce quickly erased a one-out walk in the top of the seventh by coaxing a game-ending double-play ball.
"The two key innings were the first and the sixth," said Naperville North coach Carl Hunckler. "We put no pressure on the defense at all, and that's how it's been going for us. It's not going to get any better until people start stepping up."
Lake Park struck for 2 runs in its half of the first inning, including the opening run on James Palmer's RBI groundout. Three of the Lancers' 4 runs were unearned against Naperville North starter Kurt Krejci.
Dan Riley got the Huskies on the board with a run-scoring double in the fourth inning. Naperville North, which dropped its seventh straight game, added a second run in the fourth on a wild pitch.
Joyce scattered 6 hits, struck out four, walked three and hit a batter. Huskies leadoff hitter Ryan Krainz, in addition to making several key plays at shortstop, reached base four times.
"The pitching's gotten a lot better the last couple of weeks," said Lancers coach Dan Colucci. "And we have just enough offense to get by. It feels good to be in close games and win them."
Follow Kevin on Twitter @kevin_schmit