Baseball: Streamwood hits the road, knocks off Hoffman Estates
After delaying the start time of their game against Hoffman Estates three different times in an effort to get their field in playable condition Saturday, Streamwood finally threw in the towel and switched it to the Hawks' diamond, meaning the Sabres played their first home game on the road.
No matter. The Sabres pounced on Hoffman Estates and rolled to a 14-4, five-inning victory. Tyler Jones (1-0) picked up the win. The junior right-hander pitched four innings and gave up four hits but was never in serious jeopardy. Classmate Colin Bielinski pitched the final inning and, after a bloop leadoff double to right, retired the side, stranding the runner at second.
"When Tyler was pounding the zone, getting ahead of them in the count, he was great," said Sabres coach Ryan Lasota. "And considering we've only been on a dirt infield before today, this is a great way to start the season. We had a couple of misplayed balls in the first inning and gave up a run early, but I loved the way we battled back and put up four in the bottom half."
Streamwood (1-0) got big-time production from the top of the lineup, as the leadoff-through-cleanup spots went a combined 9-for-15, scored 5 runs and drove in eight.
Jordan Acosta got roughed up on the mound and took the loss for Hoffman Estates (0-4). The southpaw gave up 10 runs on 9 hits in three innings and walked three.
The Hawks drew first blood in the top of the first, scoring an unearned run when Acosta reached on a two-base error, took third on an infield out and then scored on a fielders choice by Jim Kliver.
But Streamwood wasted no time responding. After Jones (2-for-4, 2 runs scored, 1 RBI) and AJ Reyna (2-for-3, 1 run, 1 RBI) both singled, a pair of passed balls scored Jones and put Reyna on third. Connor Johnson (1-for-4, 2 runs, 1 RBI) then worked the count against Acosta and hit the tenth pitch thrown to him deep into left for a double, scoring Reyna. Dylan Caruso coaxed a walk, and then Bielinski hit a high fly ball toward right field that got lost in the sun and dropped for a two-base hit, scoring Johnson and Caruso to give Streamwood a 4-1 lead after one.
The Sabres added to that with a six-run third. After Johnson reached on an error to open the frame, Caruso singled and Bielinski drew a base on balls to load the bases for Dillon Skelnik, who singled through the box, scoring Johnson and Caruso. Acosta beaned Scott Wolfard to reload the bases, and Alanis (3-for-4, 2 runs, 5 RBI) pounded a bases-clearing double to deep center. Two outs later Anthony Caruso (2-for-4) doubled to the gap in right-center, scoring Alanis and putting Streamwood up 10-1.
Showing some grit, Hoffman Estates pushed across three in the top of the fourth. Logan Willis, Kliver, and Ernesto Alvarez all singled to load the bases for Owen Spear, who got hit by an errant Jones pitch to score Willis. Nathan Meister then doubled to right, scoring Kliver and Alvarez before Spear got cut down trying to score on an overthrow at the plate.
Streamwood scored four more in the bottom of the fourth to restore the lead to 10, then Lasota turned the ball over to Bielinski to close the game out.
"We're young and we're looking for leaders," said Hoffman Estates first-year coach Andrew Wulbecker. "We play a tough schedule. At the beginning of the year I told these guys, because now we know who we need to beat, and that's how it's going to be come playoff time. Our nonconference schedule is really, really tough. Streamwood's a good team; they've beaten us three of the last four years."