Baseball: Lockwood, Libertyville earn split with Lake Zurich

Libertyville maximized its opportunities and sophomore right-hander Chase Lockwood minimized them for Lake Zurich in Tuesday afternoon’s North Suburban Conference baseball game.

Lockwood relied on his control and defense to take a shutout into the seventh inning, and with a 20-mph wind blowing straight in from right field the host Wildcats (14-5, 6-1) manufactured a series split with an 8-2 victory. Lockwood (4-1) gave up 10 hits but only 1 walk with 7 strikeouts in 6⅓ innings.

“On a day like today you want to attack the zone,” Libertyville coach Matt Thompson said after Lockwood threw 66 strikes in 102 pitches. “If you don’t have the walks and we make plays, that’s when you’ve got a chance.”

Lockwood went to a 3-ball count once before his only walk with 2 outs in the sixth. Lake Zurich (9-9, 4-4), which won Monday’s matchup 5-3 as Cole Kenyon and Colin Chung combined for 8 strikeouts, stranded 10 runners.

“I just let them hit it and I trust my defense a lot,” Lockwood said. “With my brother (Cole) at short, I trust all those guys out there. If they’re hot I just give the ball to them.”

Lake Zurich got 3 straight hits in the first inning but on the first one Justin Fleaka (3-for-4) was thrown out by right fielder Hayden Koonce trying to stretch it into a double. Lockwood also pitched around Luke Bajerski’s one-out triple in the second.

Third baseman Bode Rohrbach and second baseman Steve Strelow turned a double play in the third and Cole Lockwood had 4 assists.

“Our defense is really strong, especially on the infield,” Thompson said. “Obviously Cole at shortstop is really strong. He’s dependable and has experience.”

Libertyville got its first run in the second when Josh Holst singled, Rohrbach sacrificed, Strelow bunted for a hit and Mason Strader grounded into a forceout. Brock Williams and Quinn Schambow worked a first-and-third play for a two-out run in the third and Ryan Wilberding followed with an RBI single.

Cole Lockwood added a two-out RBI single in the fourth and Chase Lockwood had a 2-run single in a 4-run sixth.

“We’re really good at the little things,” Chase Lockwood said. “Paying attention to the small details makes big outcomes.”

LZ coach Scott DeCaprio liked what he saw from starter A.J. Foley as he allowed only 1 earned run in 4 innings with his rotation nicked up by various injuries. Ryan Kondrad ended Lockwood’s shutout bid and day with a sinking liner to left for a 2-run double.

“(Monday) we got a run early and the momentum but today we lacked that hit with guys in scoring position,” DeCaprio said. “We gave A.J. an opportunity and he came out of the game with a chance to win. I’m happy with the split because that’s a good team.”

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