Baseball: Lake Park reaches milestone in victory over Batavia
Masen Riser was unaware he had pitched Lake Park baseball to a milestone victory Tuesday.
After the senior tossed 6 strong innings in a 3-1 home win over Batavia to even the DuKane Conference series at a game apiece, coach Dan Colucci informed Riser he was the winning pitcher in the 900th victory in Lake Park baseball history, which dates back to 1957.
The left-hander raised an eyebrow and smiled in acknowledgment. The news was the cherry on top after a much-needed win.
Riser evened his record at 2-2 and helped Lake Park (6-4, 1-1) snap a 4-game losing streak by holding Batavia (7-3, 1-1) to an earned run on 3 hits and 5 walks. He struck out a pair.
"It was big to get our first win at home and get our first conference win," Riser said. "Hopefully, we'll come back and win the series."
Closer Giacomo Fanizza recorded his second save by inducing three consecutive comebackers in the seventh.
Riser and Fanizza successfully countered a quality start from Batavia right-hander Dylan Schick (0-1), who threw 80 pitches in 6 innings. The right-hander used a tight curveball to keep the Lancers honest. He allowed 3 runs (2 earned) on 6 hits and a walk and struck out four.
"I was pretty satisfied with the way I pitched," Schick said. "Obviously, I'd rather come out on the other end, but Lake Park did a great job of doing the small things better than us, and their pitcher did a great job."
The Lancers snapped a scoreless tie with a 3-run fifth inning. Senior Saul Vargas led off with a sharp single to left and advanced to second base when the ball eluded the outfielder. He took third on senior Jared Nickel's bunt down the third-base line. Nickel was safe without a throw. T.J. Kutil walked to load the bases.
Schick battled. He struck out Lake Park's No. 9 hitter on three pitches: two curveballs followed by a fastball.
He used the same pitch sequence on leadoff batter Chris Worcester, but the sophomore spoiled the 0-2 fastball. Schick offered another fastball in a 2-2 count and paid for it. Worcester smacked it the opposite way to right center for a 2-run single and a 2-0 lead.
"I thought he was going to come at me with the curveball, but he left it up. I had to pounce on it," said Worcester, who joined the varsity as a freshman during last year's playoff run and third-place finish in Class 4A.
Worcester's clutch hit impressed Colucci, Lake Park's 21st-year coach who has been in the dugout for 394 of the school's 900 victories.
"He did exactly what you tell him to do: shorten the swing up and go opposite field," Colucci said. "It was a thing of beauty. He's a really good ballplayer."
The Lancers added a third run against Schick when left-handed batter Joe Harrington singled inside the third-base bag with two outs.