Baseball: Lincoln-Way North blanks Lincoln-Way West
By Pat Disabato email@example.com May 8, 2014 7:38PM
Lincoln-Way North's Kyle Ostrowski pitches against Lincoln-Way West, May 8, 2014.| Allen Cunningham/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 10, 2014 7:03AM
It doesn’t matter if the wind is blowing out like it was Thursday or not, rarely is it a hitter’s day when Lincoln-Way North left-hander Kyle Ostrowski is on the mound.
Lincoln-Way West found that out the hard way.
Ostrowski fired a two-hitter and struck out 10 to lead North to a 3-0 win over rival West in a pivotal SouthWest Suburban Red game in Frankfort.
The win moved the Phoenix (16-2, 8-1) and Warriors (22-3, 8-1) into a first-place tie. The two powers will square off again Monday in New Lenox.
“I didn’t change my approach because of the wind,” said Ostrowski, a junior. “I just tried to keep getting ahead with the fastball and keep the ball low. You can’t do anything about the wind.”
It was Ostrowski’s first win of the season after three no-decisions.
“It feels great,” he said. “Got to get on a roll and keep it going.”
While Ostrowski was leading the way on the mound, relying on a pin-point fastball and knee-buckling curve, Conor Grove did major damage with his bat. His first-inning sacrifice fly gave North a 1-0 lead. He led off the fourth with a double and scored on a sac fly to make it 2-0.
In the sixth, he crushed a solo home run, his fourth of the season, to extend the lead to 3-0.
“I’m just trying for line drives, instead of home runs,” Grove said. “It was a big game for us. We needed to win.”
Zach Speaker was the lone Warriors hitter to have success against Ostrowski, going 2-for-3. The rest of the West order was 0-for-19 with a walk.
“You have to tip your hat to his outing,” West coach Jake Zajc said. “He pounded the zone and threw his curveball when he needed to. They put the ball in play, we didn’t.”
The Phoenix recorded six hits, with Grove (2-for-2, 2 runs, 2 RBI) and Mike Rissley (2-for-3) producing multihit games.
“Conor crushed that ball and Mike has been hitting the ball really well,” North coach Mitch Nowicki said. “Kyle was in complete command.”
A bright spot for West was pitcher Ben Francis, who came on in the first inning after starter Dylan Eller walked the first three batters: Troike, D.J. Lee and Erik Eggert. The left-hander allowed one run, four hits and struck out two over 32/3 innings.
The Warriors also picked three Phoenix runners off base.