Baseball: Cooney, Glenbard North rout Larkin

Glenbard North batters provided more than enough firepower in Jeremy Cooney’s 2024 pitching debut Thursday against Larkin.

The Panthers bested the Royals 15-5 in a 5-innning nonconference game.

The senior right-hander gave up one unearned run on four hits while striking out seven in four innings.

“I thought we had a real good outing from our starter, Jeremy Cooney. He gave us four innings with 60 pitches. He threw the ball well,” said Glenbard North coach Rich Smelko. “And we took advantage of some of the mistakes that Larkin was making.”

“It was a little bit of step back for us. We were playing some good ball. We had a good game against Elmwood Park yesterday,” Larkin coach Nikolas Morado said. “Today, we had errors and gave free bases. Any time you do that, one or two hits really come back to haunt you.”

Since the game site was switched from Elgin to Carol Stream, Glenbard North stayed as the visitors to take first at-bats and staked Cooney to a five-run lead before he threw his first pitch.

The Panthers batted around in the top of the first, wrapping out four hits and capitalizing on a walk and two Royals miscues to score the runs.

Larkin (2-3) got one run back in the bottom of the first. Leadoff batter Moises Acosta single and scored on Glenbard North errors. Cooney retired the next three batters. The Royals threaten in the second and fourth innings, putting runners on first and second, but the senior got out of both jams. Cooney retired the side in the third inning on three strikeouts.

“It was a very good first start,” Cooney said. “I just attacked the hitters to try and get ahead early and used some off-speed to get groundouts.”’

The Panthers add four runs in the third. Designated hitter Chris Slomba led off with a double to left field and scored the first run on Cooney’s single to left center. Glenbard North (3-2) took advantage of additional Royals errors to plate the remaining runs.

The Panthers added another run in fourth and put the game away in the fifth with another five-run rally.

“They were giving free bases with walks and errors,” Smelko said. “We came up with a hit now and then and the game got away from them.”

Larkin rallied for four runs in the bottom of the fifth. Larkin’s Alan Arzola started the frame with a double in the right-field gap. Six of the next seven batters reached base to push across the runs. Ben Haney got the last two outs.

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