Baseball: Lincoln-Way North quiets Lincoln-Way East
By Pat Disabato firstname.lastname@example.org April 29, 2013 9:52PM
Lincoln-Way North's Josh Reid hammers a two-run homerun against Lincoln-Way East, April 29, 2013. | Allen Cunningham~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 1, 2013 6:43AM
Monday night’s game between No. 1 Lincoln-Way North and No. 8 Lincoln-Way East may have been billed as nonconference on the schedule, but by the hundreds of fans who descended on East’s campus, it was apparent the game had much greater ramifications.
Namely, neighborhood bragging rights.
Lincoln-Way North, behind a stellar pitching performance from Kevin Smith and big bat of Josh Reid, outlasted red-hot Lincoln-Way East 5-1 in Frankfort.
Reid’s two-run homer in the fourth inning supplied the Phoenix (20-0) with all the runs it would need on this night. Reid tacked on a two-run single in the seventh that upped the advantage to 5-1.
The loss snapped East’s eight-game winning streak.
“It was an incredible atmosphere,” said Reid, who was 2-for-4 with four RBI. “I was trying not to look into the crowd. I didn’t want to get too hyped up.”
Smith, who transferred from St. Laurence over the summer, was accustomed to playing in front of large crowds in the Catholic League. He looked extremely comfortable going the distance Monday, scattering five hits and striking out five. He didn’t walk a batter during an 85-pitch performance.
“I knew the crowd was going to be like this,” said Smith, a senior. “I wasn’t able to focus at school. I was amped up. It looked like a Catholic League game.”
Reid jumped on a 2-and-0 offering from Brandon Nathan in the fourth inning and lined it over the left-field fence to give North a 2-0 lead. D.J. Lee, who came on to pinch run for Ryan Pellack who had singled to start the inning, scored ahead of Reid.
“It was 2-0 (count), I was sitting fastball and I got it,” Reid said. “I was just trying to hit something up the middle.”
East (14-3) had a chance to jump on the board in the first inning. Aaron Donald started the frame with a single and Kevin Duffin was hit by a pitch, putting runners on the corners with two outs. Smith struck out Tommy Fuessel on a high fastball to thwart the rally.
In the third inning, the Griffins had runners on second and third with two outs. Smith again reached back for something extra and blew a fastball past cleanup hitter Duffin to snuff the threat.
Fuessel gained some redemption in the fourth when he hammered a 1-and-1 breaking ball over the left-field fence to cut the deficit to 2-1.
The Phoenix added an insurance run in the sixth. Reed Hero’s routine flyball was misplayed in the outfield for a one-out double. Josh Handzik followed with shot to the left-center field gap, increasing the lead to 3-1.
Nathan went 62/3 innings, allowing nine hits while striking out three and walking none.
Nathan benefited from some solid defense. Second baseman Jack Dwyer made an outstanding play in the third inning, diving to his right to rob Corey Krupske of a hit. In the fifth, with a runner on third, third baseman Aaron Donald dived to his left to snare a liner off the bat of Smith to end the inning.
“That was a great game,” East coach Paul Babcock said. “They took advantage of a couple of mistakes. Brandon did a real nice job of staying within himself. Give Smith credit. He was very unpredictable with his pitches.”