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Baseball: Sandburg overpowers Homewood-Flossmoor

Sandburg's Jim Landgraf (25) gets back first before Homewood Flossmoor's Bryce Gray can put tag him.| Allen Cunningham/For Sun-Times Media

Sandburg's Jim Landgraf (25) gets back to first before Homewood Flossmoor's Bryce Gray can put the tag on him.| Allen Cunningham/For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: May 19, 2014 1:55PM



Sandburg coach Jim Morsovillo emphatically instructed from the third-base coaching box for Julian Gutierrez to swing the bat with two runners on in the fifth inning of Wednesday’s game against Homewood-Flossmoor.

“I wanted him to go the other way with the pitch,” Morsovillo said, “maybe get something up in the jet stream.”

Gutierrez, a left-handed hitter, didn’t go the other way with pitch. He did, however, swing at the very next offering, hammering it over the right-center field fence for a three-run homer.

Gutierrez’s blast was part of a six-run fifth inning as Sandburg drubbed host Homewood-Flossmoor 8-1 in a SouthWest Suburban Blue game.

“I saw coach want me to take the pitch the other way,” said Gutierrez, who was 2-for-4 on the day. “But I got a pitch middle-in. I was just trying to put the bat on the ball.”

The game was tied at 1 when the Eagles (8-3, 1-0) sent 11 batters to the plate in the decisive fifth, with Jim Roche and Chris Stearns adding RBI singles and Mike Jentel (2-for-4) cranking a solo homer.

Stearns (3-for-4, 3 RBI) added a solo homer in the sixth.

“We’ve been hitting the baseball better as a team,” Morsovillo said. “We’ve been putting the ball in play and putting pressure on the defense.”

Sandburg pitcher Sean Leland (2-1) was the beneficiary of the offensive explosion, though he didn’t need much. The Louisville recruit allowed four hits, one walk and struck out six over six innings.

“I pitched here last year and I tried to keep the ball low and get them to hit it on the ground,” Leland said. “It worked out.”

H-F pitcher Jeremy Orbik struck out the first two batters of the game before Roche singled and scored on Stearns’ double to the gap in left-center for a 1-0 lead.

The Vikings (7-2, 0-1) were able to break through against Leland in the fourth. Jonathan Brandt reached on a fielder’s choice and James Sheehan legged out an infield single. With two outs, Derrion Thomas came through with a clutch single to score Brandt and tie the game at 1.

“We tie the game up and then we come out and don’t take control,” H-F coach Todd Sippel said. “We walk the first batter that inning on four pitches. They hit the ball hard, and their pitcher (Leland) was ahead of our hitters all day.”

Kendall King had two of H-F’s five hits.



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