Baseball: Richards’ offense too much for Eisenhower
By Pat Disabato email@example.com May 5, 2014 10:18PM
Updated: June 7, 2014 6:38AM
Richards coach Brian Wujcik didn’t quite know what to expect from his team Monday against Eisenhower.
Wujcik gave his team the weekend off to celebrate prom, which meant the Bulldogs hadn’t played since Thursday.
Richards didn’t show any rust, exploding for five runs in the first inning and coasting to an 11-0 win over the host Cardinals in a South Suburban Red contest.
Richards recorded nine hits on the day, with A.J. Sanchez, Charlie Zeschke and Shane Mills combining for seven of them.
“Given today’s conditions, with the wind blowing in and we haven’t been together as a team since Thursday, I wasn’t sure what team was going to show up today,” Wujcik said. “It wasn’t a hitter’s day, but, for the most part, I liked our approach.”
Sanchez (3-for-3, 3 runs) ignited an early outburst by the Bulldogs (18-4, 12-1) with a double and he scored on a single up the middle by Zeschke (2-for-2, 3 runs) for a 1-0 lead.
Eisenhower starter Gabriel Onate then ran into some control problems, walking Nate Natividad and Noel Castro and hitting Nick Mejia with a pitch to force in a run for a 2-0 advantage.
Mills (2-for-3, 3 RBI) then demonstrated a nice bit of hitting, taking an outside fastball down the right-field line for a bases-clearing double that made it 5-0.
“I was trying to go the opposite way and trying to keep the ball low and on a line,” Mills said.
Natividad stroked a two-run single in the second that stretched the lead to 7-0.
The Bulldogs tacked on four more runs in the third, highlighted by RBI singles from Sanchez and Zeschke.
“Sanchez did a nice job spraying line drives around the field,” Wujcik said. “Mills came through with that nice hit in the first inning.”
Richards starter Brett Thomas faced the minimum nine batters over his three innings of work. He allowed an infield single to Justin Longaria in the first inning that was wiped away by a 4-6-3 double play. Juan Gallardo and Caleb Cavasos had the Cardinals’ only other hits on the day against Bulldogs relievers Eric Ruge and Mejia, who split a scoreless inning each.
“Thomas threw strikes,” Wujcik said. “To get those runs early for him was a big help.”
Eisenhower (5-11, 4-7) was without three starters — shortstop Cristian Diaz de Sandy, second baseman Cristian Espinoza and outfielder Zac Cozzi — each absent for different reasons.
“It’s tough to bounce back from a first inning like that,” Eisenhower coach Mike Aggen said. “Richards is a good hitting team.”