With two games remaining before the NJCAA Region IV baseball sectionals, two teams took to the field Tuesday in nonconference action looking to get pitchers some work.
It was also an opportunity for both Harper College and Oakton Community College to get some struggling hitters back on track. The visiting Raiders did a slightly better job of that in a 4-2 victory.
"It's all about getting to the process," said Harper coach Cliff Brown said.
Harper is 23-20 overall, but has struggled of late. The Hawks have gone 5-11 in their last 16 games after a 3-1 loss to Joliet Junior College on April 21. The Hawks had not won two straight until getting a sweep of Joliet on Saturday.
Harper earned the No. 2 seed in the region and thus gets a home game to start the postseason in Division III play.
Oakton, meanwhile, knows it will have to play on the road. The Raiders got a No. 3 seed while Madison College, ranked No. 10 nationally, received the top sectional seed for Division II programs.
Oakton starter Phillip Madvek baffled Hawks hitters on Tuesday, allowing just 4 hits before giving way to the bullpen.
The Hawks had better luck against Oakton's relivers, tallying 2 runs in the sixth inning.
Harper standout Kurt Becker (Palatine) did not disappoint, finishing with 4 of Harper's 7 hits.
"(I need to) keep the same approach -- see ball, hit ball," said the NJCAA's Division III leader in batting average at .476 before Tuesday's game.