Baseball: Maine West dodges rain, beats Vernon Hills
Maine West rained baserunners, hits and runs on Vernon Hills Tuesday in Des Plaines.
Playing in a drizzle throughout the game, the Warriors had 24 baserunners. They had 13 hits, 5 walks, 2 hit batters and reached on 4 errors as they drowned Vernon Hills 14-4 in 6 innings in a Central Suburban South baseball game.
Every Maine West player in the batting order reached base at least one time. James Lindenmuth and Gil Hernandez each reached base four times, Josh Outlaw and Jack White three times each, and John Rings, Jared Pearson and Charlie Parcell two each.
"It took us little time to adjust to their pitcher," Maine West coach Mike Randazzo said. "But once we did we put the ball in play a lot."
Maine West (7-11, 3-8), which had lost 6 of its last 7 games, jumped out to 5-0 lead after two innings. Rings belted a 2-run homer in the first and the Warriors pushed across 3 more runs in the second thanks to a double by White and a single by Outlaw.
"I was kind of looking for a fastball " Rings said. "I love that pitch. With the wind blowing out it kind of helped a little bit. It got us started."
Vernon Hills (5-14-1, 4-7) scrambled to get back into the game in the fourth.
The Cougars tallied 4 runs with RBI from Joey Wizceb, Nick Heiser, Shane Moncayo and Brent Mueller. But Maine West rallied for 3 runs in the bottom half of the inning and Vernon Hills never challenged again thanks to the solid pitching by Lindenmuth.
"It got a little scary," Randazzo said. "We have had games where we went up and things happened. The biggest part was getting those runs back and getting the momentum back."
Maine West put the game away in the final two frames, scoring 3 times in each inning.
"At the start the bats seemed a little dry," said Outlaw, who tripled and singled in those innings and scored both times.
"From then on we seemed to catch a little rhythm. We then began to stack up and get a little confidence."
Hernandez, who had a pair of hits and 3 RBI, said that this type game could get the Warriors going.
"We haven't been doing those recently," Hernandez said. "We just have to keep it going. The playoffs are coming up soon."
Vernon Hills coach Eric Levin said the 5 errors made by his team were costly.
"Defense let us down today," Levin said. "It's been tough for us all year. When we are solid defensively, our pitchers build off that. We just aren't getting guys out."