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Baseball: St. Rita makes quick work of Brother Rice

Chicago 5/4/13--Luke Liebforth Brother Rice tosses out runner first their game against St. Rita.  | Vincent D. Johnson~for Sun-Times

Chicago, 5/4/13--Luke Liebforth, of Brother Rice, tosses out a runner at first in their game against St. Rita. | Vincent D. Johnson~for Sun-Times Media

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Updated: June 6, 2013 7:07AM



What a difference 24 hours can make.

After handing No. 1 Lincoln-Way North its first loss of the season Friday by a 1-0 count, Brother Rice received a reality check Saturday compliments of rival St. Rita.

The No. 4 Mustangs pounded out 13 hits and eased past the visiting Crusaders 11-0 in a five-inning Catholic League Blue affair.

Every starter in St. Rita’s line-up recorded at least one hit.

“When your team doesn’t come out ready to play, it’s the coach’s fault,” said Brother Rice coach Johnny McCarthy, whose team fell to 16-9, 8-5. “Rita came out ready and pounded the ball.”

The first inning pretty much epitomized the Crusaders’ afternoon. Freshman Andrew Dyke led off the game against Mustang ace Mike Costanzo with a double. He wasn’t there long as catcher Nate Soria caught Dyke leaning and picked him off.

The very next batter, Luke Liebforth walked. Moments later, Costanzo, a left-hander, picked him off.

“That was kind of deflating,” McCarthy said.

It only got worse from there for Rice.

Connor McLain’s three-run homer was part of a five-run first inning off Rice starter Ian McGinnis.

“I was looking for a first-pitch fastball; something I could drive,” said McLain, who resides in Tinley Park. “That’s what he threw me. They (Rice) have been playing really well and we’ve been struggling a little bit with our hitting. We’re a dangerous team when we’re hitting.”

The Mustangs (24-4, 11-2) recorded seven doubles on the day, six coming during a six-run fourth inning.

Junior Jake Shepski had a pair of two-baggers and drove in two runs on the day.

Marty Napleton contributed a two-run single, and Andrew Massey, Tyler Halas, Pete Cozzi and A.J. Fuller added RBI doubles.

Anthony Ray reached base twice on bunt singles and Jake Drada doubled and scored.

“I got some great pitches that I could take care of,” said Shepski, a Lockport resident. “We had a lot of doubles today. We know they’re a dangerous team and we had to come out ready to play.”

Costanzo (8-1) was pretty much on cruise control. The junior left hander didn’t allow a hit after Dyke’s double to start the game. He hit two batters consecutively in the fourth, but escaped further damage. He struck out 6 in a compact 61-pitch effort.

“Having a 5-0 lead takes away the stress,” Costanzo said. “I can go out and throw the way I want to throw.”



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