Benet's Kruppe works quickly to defeat Montini
Maybe Benet pitcher Jon Kruppe had early dinner plans on Wednesday.
Whatever the reason, the senior right-hander delivered an extremely efficient 82-pitch complete game to help the Redwings top Montini 3-1 in Lisle.
Kruppe, committed to Evansville, allowed 9 hits, but he mitigated the damage by walking no one and trusting the errorless defense behind him. Thanks in part to a seventh-inning double play, the Redwings (7-4) finished the game in only 90 minutes with the tying run at the plate for the Broncos (9-5).
"I really tried to throw a lot of strikes today, and it kind of hurt me a couple times when I left some good pitches to hit on 0-2 counts," said Kruppe, who struck out six and walked none. "My focus was to make them put the ball in play and keep my defense awake. I wanted to work quick, which worked out for everyone."
Both sides managed plenty of scoring chances against pretty strong pitching. Benet had 8 hits against Montini ace Sean Frontzak, who struck out nine and walked two in 6 innings.
The Redwings got all their scoring in the bottom of the second inning when Josh Tumpane singled home 2 runs and Connor Hickey drove in a third run on a fielder's choice.
Nick Malik's run-scoring groundout pulled Montini within 3-1 in the top of the fourth, but the Broncos couldn't score again off Kruppe. Montini stranded seven runners, including six in scoring position.
"We would have liked a little more timely hitting when we had guys in scoring position, but we're moving in the right direction," said Montini coach Rich Janor. "A lot of hard-hit balls, so we can kind of hang our hat on that. Last inning we hit a hard ball right up the middle, and it turns into a double play. That's the way it goes."
Conor Hayes went 3-for-3 for Benet, while Mike Ryan had 2 hits. Jake Pestel and Nick Steiner each went 2-for-4 at the top of Montini's batting order.
"Make them hit it and trust our defense," said Benet coach Scott Lawler. "Where you get into trouble is when you start walking guys, and Jon did a nice job with that. He scattered the hits and didn't allow it to get worse."
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