Baseball: Bergman, Lake Park snap St. Charles North's 8-game winning streak
Pitching and rhythm go hand in hand, and Lake Park's Bryan Bergman displayed plenty of both Friday afternoon.
Bergman, a senior right-hander, tossed a 5-hit complete game during the Lancers' 4-2 DuKane Conference victory over host St. Charles North (14-4, 8-2).
Retiring 15 of the last 16 batters, the fact that Bergman got better as the game went along was a big plus for the Lancers (12-8, 4-6).
"Bryan is coming off a little bit of an arm injury," said Lancers coach Dan Colucci. "The intention was to keep him between 45-50 pitches, but he kept coming off the field, saying, 'I'm good, I'm good.' I told him, 'Bryan, you are good -- the hitters are telling you that.
"He kept them off balance all day and he threw strikes."
Working quickly, Bergman didn't walk a batter while striking out 6, including 2 of the last 3 in the bottom of the seventh.
"I always work in a fast rhythm," said Bergman, who wasn't bothered by batters stepping out of the box throughout the game. "I'm dialed in, I'm ready."
Lake Park grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first with an unearned run off North Stars starting pitcher Tony Estrada.
The North Stars answered with a 2-run second, benefiting from a Lake Park infield error prior to Jackson Spring's 2-RBI single.
The Lancers scratched across the tying run in the third on Daniel Rollins' sacrifice fly, then took the lead for good at 3-2 on Derek Ittner's RBI single up the middle in the fifth.
"That was a great two-strike approach," Colucci said of Ittner's full-count base hit. "Just try to put it through the middle."
Lake Park added an insurance tally in the seventh on Ittner's safety squeeze following singles from Brayden Clancy and Daniel Dellaria.
"We wanted to extend the lead in the seventh, so we tried the safety squeeze," said Colucci. "Getting that extra run, it changes the game a little bit."
Junior catcher Mike Buono went 2-for-2 with a hit-by-pitch for the North Stars, who had their 8-game winning streak snapped.
"Offensively, we've been swinging the bats pretty well, so for that kid (Bergman) to come in here and pitch that well is impressive," said North Stars coach Todd Genke. "He didn't walk anybody. He made us earn everything."
The North Stars ran themselves out of a possible big inning at the game's outset, getting a runner picked off first and another doubled off second following a lineout to center field.
"I wish we could take that first inning back because we made two baserunning errors," said Genke. "It's a good learning experience for our guys. We've got to be better.
"It's a shame because we haven't lost all year at home, but we'll be better for it."
Leadoff man Michael Christiansen reached base 3 times for the Lancers.
"We're a young team and this shows we have the ability to beat good teams," said Colucci.