St. Francis' Stout strikes out 16

 
 
Updated 4/25/2011 9:40 PM
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St. Francis senior Eric Stout woke up Monday morning wondering if soggy weather would prevent him from pitching.

It wound up being a career day for the Spartans' ace left-hander.

Stout pitched a 2-hitter with 16 strikeouts and led St. Francis to a 6-1 Suburban Christian Blue Conference baseball win over Montini in Wheaton.

Carrying a perfect game through three innings and a no-hitter through 5 innings, Stout (5-1) finally allowed a double to Mike Davis and an RBI single to Jared Jayne in the sixth. By that point, though, Stout and the Spartans (14-4, 6-1) had the game under control at 4-1.

After St. Francis added 2 runs in the bottom of the sixth on RBI singles by Colin Wons and Stout, Stout struck out the side to end the game in the top of the seventh.

"This is definitely my best game," said Stout, who walked two batters. "I was hitting my spots, I threw all my pitches for strikes. It was a good game.

"Montini's one of our rivals, so we always come out strong against them every time," he said. "We just want to make sure we stay strong (on Tuesday) against them."

St. Francis took control in the first two innings. Joel Birch and Lonnie Hicks each had run-scoring hits in the first inning, and Eric Bacon extended the lead to 3-0 in the second inning on a suicide squeeze bunt.

With Stout dealing on the mound, the outcome seemed secure.

"He's the best pitcher we've seen all year," said Montini coach Bill Leeberg. "I give him a lot of credit, I mean, we only got 2 hits. He was throwing the ball real well. That was the story of the game."

Ryan Acciavatti singled home a run in the fourth inning to boost the Spartans' advantage to 4-0. Montini starter Dan Smego (3-2) scattered 6 hits in 5 innings -- one of his allowed runs was unearned -- before two relievers finished the game.

Stout went 2-for-4 while Birch went 3-for-3 and reached base in each of his four trips to the plate.

"Eric was really at his best today," said St. Francis coach Rich Janor. "When he throws strikes, and with our defense, he's going to be pretty much unbeatable."