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Baseball: Lincoln-Way Central trying to knock out the kinks

Lincoln-Way Central's KevMampe. | Jim Boyce/For Sun-Times Media

Lincoln-Way Central's Kevin Mampe. | Jim Boyce/For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: June 23, 2014 3:02PM



It’s back to the basics for Lincoln-Way Central.

The Knights’ recent struggle on defense and inability to come up with the timely hit demand it, according to coach Scott Gardner.

“We haven’t been producing a ton of runs and we haven’t been playing very well on defense,” Gardner said. “We’ve got a few days of practice this week where we’re going to work on focusing on the little things. Guys are trying to do too much at the plate.”

Case in point, consecutive losses to rival Lincoln-Way West by scores of 2-1 and 13-4. In the latter game, the Knights committed five errors.

One of the reasons for the struggles at the plate is the absence of Ryan Earl, who’s been out a few weeks because of a hamstring injury. Earl is a middle-of-the-order run producer.

The good news? Even with the recent struggles, Central is a solid 18-11 on the season, including 9-4 in the SouthWest Suburban Red.

Pitcher Brad Bass has been outstanding, boasting a 4-2 record and 0.83 ERA. Kevin Mampe has stepped up to fill the No. 2 spot in the rotation and also has produced offensively. Catcher Cam Post, a freshman, has showed steady improvement both offensively and defensively.

The Knights earned the No. 7 seed in the Class 4A Andrew Sectional. If the bats and defense come around, having a pitcher the caliber of Bass, a Notre Dame recruit, could lead to an extended playoff stay.

“Our starting pitching is very strong,” Gardner said. “If we can get back to playing consistent defense and come up with timely hitting, we can do some things down the stretch.”

Bajenski Tournament
in full swing

The third annual Steven M. Bajenski Tournament kicks into high gear with second-round winners’ bracket action Thursday, followed by third-round games Friday and championship Saturday.

Thursday’s highlights include a battle between Catholic Blue co-champs St. Rita and St. Laurence at 5:15 p.m. at Standard Bank Stadium in Crestwood, followed by Joliet Catholic vs. Providence tilt at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday’s championship is slated for 7 p.m. at Standard Bank Stadium.

Player of the Week

Brian Musielak, of Brother Rice, is the SouthtownStar Baseball Player of the Week.

The senior right-hander limited St. Laurence to three hits and one walk in tossing a 2-0 complete-game shutout.



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