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Baseball: Richard leads Oak Forest past Andrew

Updated: April 28, 2013 6:27AM



Oak Forest’s Brian Richard spent much of the offseason in the weight room, hoping the additional muscle would improve his overall game.

It paid dividends Tuesday against No. 8 Andrew.

Richard went 2-for-3, including a two-run homer, to lead Oak Forest to a 6-4 win over Andrew in a game played at the Ray Kroc Center in Chicago.

“I put in a lot of work in the offseason,” said Richard, who played right field Tuesday and is slated to pitch Wednesday against Rich Central. “I hit the weights really hard. I feel stronger.”

Richard, beginning his third year on the varsity, led off the game with a single and later scored on Tom Livingston’s sacrifice fly.

In the second inning, with Joe Muller on second base, Richard jumped on a 2-and-0 offering and sent it over the right-field fence for a 3-0 Bengals lead.

“I thought it was a routine fly ball,” Richard said. “I just put my head down and started running.”

Oak Forest (1-0) built its lead to 6-2 after five innings. Kevin Johnson contributed a two-run single in the fourth and Matt Zubek added a run-scoring single in the sixth.

“We played good defense and got some timely hits,” Oak Forest coach Thad Gatton said. “Richard is still tall and lanky, but he has gotten a little stronger. It was good to start the season with a win.”

Andrew did rally, but just couldn’t come up with the big hit. The Thunderbolts stranded five baserunners the final two innings.

Colin Mangin (1-for-2, RBI), Ryan Forrest (1-for-3, RBI) and Kevin Walsh (2-for-3, 2 RBI) led Andrew (2-1).

“They outplayed us in every facet of the game,” said Andrew coach Dave DeHaan, whose team committed four errors. “They got the big hit when they needed it and we didn’t. We’ll get better.”

Jason Hlad got the mound win for Oak Forest, allowing two runs on five hits over four innings. The right-hander struck out two. Drew Dominik closed things up the final three innings, allowing two runs on two hits, though he walked two and hit two batters.

Stefan Urosevic took the loss for Andrew, while Forrest relieved and allowed one run over 31/3 innings, striking out four.



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