Baseball: Joliet Catholic overruns Naperville Central
By Chris Walker For Sun-Times Media April 7, 2014 9:52PM
Updated: May 9, 2014 6:24AM
Naperville Central ran late in getting to Joliet for Monday’s game at Joliet Catholic.
The Hilltoppers then ran them out of Gillespie Field.
Joliet Catholic swiped nine bases and sprinted past the Redhawks 11-1 in six innings.
“We’ve been struggling scoring some runs and have some guys that can run really well,” Joliet Catholic coach Jared Voss said. “We tried to take advantage of their speed a little bit and put some pressure on the defense.”
Naperville Central southpaw Brendan Daley (3-3) struggled with his command, walking Rylan Bannon (2 stolen bases, 2 runs) and Mitch Boe (2-for-3, 2 RBI) to open the bottom of the first inning. After a double steal, Aaron Markley delivered a two-run single to center.
“Our first two guys got on and capitalized with some stolen bases,” Markley said. “I came up with a hit and the floodgates opened from there.”
While a lefty’s move to first can be tricky, it did nothing to slow the Hilltoppers (7-2).
“We take reading the left-hander out of the equation,” Voss said. “We make our decision and go on the lift, and hopefully we guess right that he doesn’t come to first.”
The Hilltoppers added three more steals in the inning, and combined with a pair of errors, jumped to a 4-0 lead.
“We need to do a better job,” Naperville Central coach Mike Stock said. “We started off with a couple of free passes and then they started running wild on us and we didn’t respond.”
The Hilltoppers pitching staff was a bit depleted, the result of a busy stretch of games. Kyle Polaski, Keegan Tyrell, Alex Ragusa and Danny Ehrsam each pitched at least an inning and combined on a five-hitter.
“The guys gutted out some innings for us,” Voss said. “We’ve been playing a lot of baseball and needed those guys to step up and we needed a day from the offense to come through and they did.”
Boe’s two-run single made it a 6-0 game in the fourth inning.
Naperville Central finally broke the shutout in the fifth on Daley’s RBI triple, but Ragusa retired the next three hitters on pop outs to leave Daley stranded.
The Redhawks were 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position. Bobby McMillen led the Redhawks with two hits and scored their only run.
“We’ve got to hit one through nine and right now we’re not getting production in part of the lineup,” Stock said. “It’s not from a lack of effort. The kids are trying and we just have to trust ourselves and do what we need to do.”