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Baseball: Lincoln-Way North trims Joliet West

Joliet West third baseman Alex Wesner tags out Lincoln-Way North's Josh Handzik. | John Patsch~For Sun-Times Media

Joliet West third baseman Alex Wesner tags out Lincoln-Way North's Josh Handzik. | John Patsch~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: April 4, 2013 10:47PM



Playing for the fourth day in a row, including a long trip to Barrington, Lincoln-Way North earned a day off and remained undefeated at the same time with an 8-3 victory Thursday at Joliet West.

“Tough week,’’ North coach Joe Skarbek said. “Barrington, Joliet Central always can pose problems. And then we played Lyons (on) Wednesday. It was a classic kind of trap game (Thursday).’’

North (6-0) avoided the schedule trap by ripping a half-dozen solid hits in a six-run second inning that broke a 2-all tie.

Corey Krupske put North ahead for good 4-2 with a double that scored Alex Neufeld (single) and Drew Korosic (double) before Josh Handzik stroked an RBI single. Kevin Smith (2-for-4, 2 RBI) also had an RBI hit in the inning.

“Once one guy gets rolling, we all just kind of piggyback off that and keep the momentum going,’’ Handzik (2-for-4, 2 RBI) said. “When Corey gets on, he really sets the table for everybody.’’

Handzik had two errors in the first inning at shortstop, but cleared his head of the fielding miscues and drove in a run in each of the first two innings.

“All our coaches are pretty good at keeping us all up,’’ Handzik said. “We try to make sure we forget about what we’ve done wrong in the game and focus on what we’re going to do next.’’

“We came out hitting the ball really well, and then the bats went to sleep,’’ Skarbek said. “That happens sometimes. It’s early in the season, so let’s hope we can play seven full innings.’’

North’s Josh Reid pitched the first 31/3 innings and got solid relief help from Smith and Brett King. The trio combined to scatter eight West hits.

Larry Holman and Zack Thomas each had two hits for West (5-2). Josh Sheehan relieved Thomas with West down 7-2 and allowed just three singles the rest of the game.

“That’s Josh’s first time on the mound,’’ West coach John Karczewski said. “I told him, ‘We’re going to look at you as maybe being our closer.’ He came out and attacked them. He came in and shut the door.’’

North opens its SouthWest Suburban Red season Wednesday at Thornton with high expectations.

“That’s our first goal, to win conference,’’ Handzik said. “After that, we’ll see. We’re going to make sure we get that accomplished first.’’

“Take those first two innings away and we’re right with them,’’ Karczewski said. “We got some positives out of (Thursday). They’re not the No. 1 team in the state now for nothing.’’



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