Baseball: Huntley among teams off to fast start
While Mother Nature continues to command the strike zone when it comes to wreaking havoc on local high school baseball teams, some squads have been fortunate enough to get in a few early season games.
Huntley carried a 5-1 record into the week, having outscored its first 6 opponents by a 66-14 margin.
The Red Raiders finished the week with a 17-3 victory over South Elgin on March 30, jumping on top with a 5-run first inning before putting the game away with a 7-run third that included RBIs from Ryan Bakes (1 for 2), Brayden Bakes (3 for 3, HR, 2B, 3 R, 3 RBI), Ryan Quinlan (1 for 2, 2 RBI), and A.J. Putty (2 for 2, 3 RBI).
Ryan Kelly started on the mound and worked 2 scoreless innings with 3 walks and 6 strikeouts.
Josh Genz had a pair of RBI while Jesus Munoz Aparicio also drove in a run for the Storm. Left-hander Adam Guzman suffered the loss, giving up 5 runs and 5 hits.
One day earlier, the Red Raiders blanked Harvard 7-0, as winning pitcher Peyton Barr, Andrew Ressler, Malachi Paplanus, Vinny Costantino, Parker Schuring and Michael Vitellaro combined for 19 strikeouts.
Huntley scored 5 runs in the first, ignited by Quinlan's 2-run double, Lucas Goldstein's 2-run single and Ryan Kelly's RBI fielder's choice.
"We pride ourselves on getting a lead and putting pressure on our opponents," said Huntley coach Andy Jakubowski. "The top part of our order (Ryan Bakes, Brayden Bakes, Joey Garlin, and Brandon Hanley) has done a great job of getting on base and situational hitting."
Adam Guazzo, Harout Meyer, and Barr combined for 14 strikeouts in Huntley's 9-0 whitewash of Schaumburg on March 21.
"Our bullpen has done a tremendous job this year, especially with our starters on a pitch count and/or getting work for their next start," said Jakubowski. "This spring has been crazy, so it has been hard to extend guys because there hasn't been a rhythm to our season."
Ryan Bakes smacked a pair of home runs in Huntley's 19-3, 5-inning win over Moline on March 19.
The Red Raiders' lone blemish came in a 5-4, walk-off loss to perennial state power Edwardsville on March 19.
St. Charles North (4-3) capped its week with 3 victories over Grant, Johnsburg and Wauconda in Marion.
"We had to drive 600 miles to get some games in last week," joked North Stars coach Todd Genke. "Our varsity went 4-1 and we got in a JV game in Marion. Everybody got an opportunity, so we were able to get some data on all of them.
"We feel pretty good about where we are. We're very young, and we've made some young mistakes, but we've also seen some good competition."
While 4-year varsity veteran Jayden Lobliner has provided leadership behind the plate, the North Stars have received solid play from juniors Will Vaske and Anthony Estrada -- both Marmion transfers.
"Will has had an incredible first 7-game stretch," said Genke. "He has an on-base percentage near .700, and he hit a 2-run homer off a Louisville-commit from Chatham Glenwood. Anthony has been a surprise for us on the mound."
The North Stars, who opened their season with a 6-4 win over Marquette on March 18, have gotten strong mound efforts from senior Carson Hall and sophomores Josh Caccia and Colin Ryder.
St. Charles East (2-1-1) began its season with a 1-1 tie with Barrington on March 21 before edging Waubonsie Valley 5-4 last Tuesday. The Saints bounced back from Friday's loss to Burlington Central with a victory over Downers Grove South on Saturday.
"We're right where we need to be," said Saints coach Len Asquini, whose team has been led by pitchers Gavin Sitarz, Nathan Hayes, Dom LeBlanc, and Seth Winkler.
"We'd like to be outside more often but last year we played one game and then rolled right into conference against Lake Park. I'm very happy with our pitching but still concerned with our defense."
Crystal Lake South (3-1) knocked off Rockford Boylan 5-1 last Friday behind James Allie's 5-inning stint with 8 strikeouts.
Chris Kahle had a double and 3 RBI, while James Carlson went 2 for 3 with a pair of RBI, and Mason Struck was 2 for 3 with a double and 2 runs scored.
Dayton Murphy smacked a grand slam and Mark DeCicco (2-0) tossed 5 innings of 1-run ball in the Gators' 11-1, 5-inning win over Woodstock on March 30.
Hampshire (3-2) junior Colin Miller tossed a no-hitter with 10 strikeouts during the Whip-Purs' 12-0 win over Rantoul last Friday. Austin Leonard drove in 3 runs while Daniel Rodriguez had a pair of hits.
Nathaniel Buehrer threw 4 1/3 scoreless frames in Hampshire's 6-0 win over Wilmington on April 1. Luke Mejdrich had a pair of RBI.
Blake Stempowski and Ryan Huskey each drove in a pair of runs for Geneva (2-2) during its 5-3 loss to Conant last Friday.
Daniel Alworth pitched 4 2/3 innings, allowing 2 earned runs on 3 hits with 10 strikeouts.
The Vikings opened their season with slaughter-rule wins over Bartlett (11-1 on March 22) and Romeoville (14-0 on March 28). Alworth drove in 4 runs for the Vikings, while Colin Swalley had the lone RBI for the Hawks.
Aurora Christian (0-3-1) dropped a 9-2 decision to Ottawa Marquette last Saturday despite a pair of hits from Diego Huerta and Ben Guerra.