Baseball: Strong pitching leads Maine South past Prairie Ridge
It was three-for-one for Maine South Saturday in Park Ridge.
The Hawks used three different pitchers to stymie Prairie Ridge 3-1 in a nonconference baseball battle.
"We have 16 pitchers on our roster," Maine South coach Brian Lorenz said. "So anybody can go in at any time. That's what they are starting to figure out. We need that."
Braden Quinn, Drew Koenen and Leo Corbett combined to handcuff the Wolves. The trio allowed just 4 hits, while striking out 7 and not allowing an earned run.
"The mound was a little rough, but I finally got into a groove," said Quinn, who got the start and went three-plus innings before giving way to Koenen in the fourth.
"I pitched just three innings because I am pitching Tuesday, so it was good to get some work."
Prairie Ridge (4-8) scored its lone run of the day against Quinn in the second.
Zach Bentsen reached on an error. He then moved up to second on an excellent sacrifice bunt by Aidan Preves. Bentsen then scored Nathan LaFever's single to make it 1-0.
Maine South (10-5) took the lead for good in the bottom half of the frame.
Back-to- back doubles Noah Collins and Brady Marques tied the game at one. Marques then Arran Barliant's single to make it 2-1.
"It was cold out there, but I was loose," said Marques, who would later double again, but got stranded at second base.
"It has been colder on other days, but I felt good at the plate."
The Hawks then ran themselves into an insurance run.
Andrew Randazzo walked and went to third on Charlie Schau's single. With the duo on the corners and two outs, Schau took off for second. Randazzo waited for the throw to go through and then beat the ensuing throw back home to complete the double steal and make it 3-1.
"We had some key offensive plays," Lorenz said. "We were then able to find a way with a double steal."
The Hawks then leaned heavily on their relief pitching.
Koenen, who will pitch next Thursday for Maine South, entered in the fourth with runners on first and second, was able to pitch out of that jam, thanks to a pair of strikeouts.
Koenen also got help from the Maine South defense in the next two innings. In both of those innings, the Hawks were able to cut down the Wolves at second base on great tags by Kerim Orucevic.
Corbet then finished off Prairie Ridge in the seventh. He faced just three batters, striking out the last two.
"I didn't think we put together many good quality at-bats," Prairie Ridge coach Glen Pecoraro said. "And we got guys on base. I tip my cap, they executed."
Prairie Ridge also got a solid pitching performance from Karson Seifer. In his first varsity start, the freshman left-hander pitched nearly 5 innings and threw 70 pitches.
"We just moved him up today for this game," Pecoraro said. "He did a great job and we expect good things from him in the future."