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Baseball: Pitching a strong suit for Crete-Monee

Updated: June 2, 2013 6:11AM



Crete-Monee coach Gene Cahan knew if his team had any chance at competing in the Southland Conference, its pitching staff would have to live up to expectations.

Through 17 games, the Warriors staff has done that.

“We had four quality pitchers coming into the season and they’ve all pitched well,” said Cahan, whose team entering Tuesday was 14-3 overall and 8-0 in the Southland Conference.

The foursome of Kyle Bumpass, Craig Quick, Chris Cockle and Brandon Hickey has been overpowering. Bumpass has struck out 46 in 30 innings, Quick has posted 36 strikeouts in 27 innings and Cockle has 32 strikeouts in 23 innings.

The high amount of strikeouts has taken pressure off the Warriors defense.

“That’s been huge,” Cahan of the strikeouts. “Our defense has been a little inconsistent. But when you don’t allow the other team to put the ball in play that helps things out”

Cockle was leading the Warriors offense, boasting a .517 batting average. Malik McNeal (.429) and Cameron Bass (.400) also have hit the ball well.

“Cameron thinks he’s struggling,” Cahan said. “I told him, ‘Hitting .400 is not struggling.’ ”

Evergreen Park on hot streak

Evergreen Park coach Mark Smyth wasn’t too concerned when his team was sitting 3-10.

“I thought we were playing pretty good,” he said. “We were hitting the ball hard but right at people and we weren’t taking advantage of some situations.”

That has changed.

The Mustangs won seven in a row entering Tuesday’s game against Oak Lawn.

Dan Duh, Mike Reuter, Sean Miller and Kevin Farmer have been swinging well lately, while the pitching of Kyle Venhuizen, Nick Siemiawski, Davie Ziebarth, Aaron GreenVanZee and Frank Meisl has been superb. Meisl has three wins during the streak.

Defensively, shortstop Mark Martin, catcher Mike Rizzo and third baseman Tim Walsh have been superb.

“We had to stay patient,” Smith said. “The bats woke up and we’ve been getting some timely hitting.”



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