Baseball: Lake Park, Waubonsie Valley off to strong starts
Jackson Kent picked a good day for his best start.
Kent, a University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee recruit, struck out 18 in a complete game gem Saturday, leading the Lancers to an 8-1 win over St. Charles North (15-3).
The Lancers (17-3-1, 9-2-1 in the DuKane Conference) and North Stars are battling it out at the top of the conference. The North Stars won the second game of the series 6-5 on Saturday before the Lancers took Monday's finale, 4-3.
Kent is 2-0 with 31 strikeouts in 15 innings. Chris Worcester is hitting .550 with 9 doubles, 2 homers and 18 RBI, and Mason Baer is batting .508 with 7 doubles, 5 triples, 2 home runs, 22 RBI and 26 runs.
"We have been playing great baseball all around," Lake Park coach Dan Colucci said. "We have played with energy and enthusiasm."
The Lancers have a lot of college talent. Worcester will play at Eastern Illinois and Baer at UIC. TJ Kutil (Kishwaukee), Tommy Klco (Missouri Valley College), Kolby Keatts (Harper), Jason Gutkowski (Harper) and Michael Christopher (Dominican) also plan on playing college baseball.
Waubonsie Valley update:
Waubonsie Valley continued its strong start to the season Monday with a 5-4 win over Neuqua Valley.
The Warriors improved to 12-6 and 6-4 in the DuPage Valley Conference. MJ Liyeos started before Xander Siodlarz closed the door for the last 1 2/3 innings. Tyler Patton drove in 3 runs and Zack Stokes and Riley Murphy both had 2 hits.
Neuqua won the second game of the series 16-3 on Tuesday.
"Our pitching staff is really coming along," said Warriors coach Bryan Acevedo, adding the sophomore Liyeos and senior Jack Osta have been leading the way.
The Warriors took one of three from DVC-leading Naperville Central, handing the Redhawks one of just three losses.
Stokes is hitting .534 heading into the final two games of the Neuqua series on Tuesday and Thursday this week. He will play college baseball at the University of West Florida.
Metea Valley update:
Also in the DVC, the Mustangs are coming off their best win of the season, a 6-5 nonconference victory Saturday over Lincoln-Way East -- ranked No. 3 in Illinois by Prep Baseball.
Heading into the week at 7-8 and 4-4 in conference, Metea has a young team that currently is starting four sophomores and one freshman.
Junior shortstop Aidan Wagner leads Metea Valley with a .388/.508/.551 slash line with a home run, 9 RBI, 17 runs and 8 steals.
Freshman outfielder Jeremy Wrona is hitting .378. Senior outfielder Colin Reilly has a .373 average with 11 RBI, 17 runs and 8 RBI. Sophomore catch Jake LaVine is hitting .348 with 12 RBI.
St. Francis update:
The Spartans (9-6, 7-2) headed into a Monday-Tuesday series with Wheaton Academy with their share of tough losses this season, including extra-inning defeats to Marmion and Naperville Central and a last inning walk-off 1-run loss to Wheaton North.
That trend continued Monday when the Warriors pulled out a 5-4 win behind the pitching of Ryan Skala and Hudson Williams. Josh Cosme had 3 hits and JT Manusos two.
For Tom Ciombor's St. Francis squad, offense has not been an issue. They are averaging over 11 runs per game through the first 14 with a team batting average of .386 and an OPS of 1.091.
Sophomore Rocco Tenuta is leading the way on the mound with a 2.33 ERA and at the plate hitting .450. Junior Vince Polizzi is hitting .528. Senior center fielder Max McCallum is setting the table hitting .344 with an on-base average of .627.
St. Francis continues its challenging schedule with upcoming games against Montini, Nazareth and Joliet Catholic.
Fenton has a 23-19 slugfest over Glenbard South and a 2-1 pitcher's duel win over Glenbard East on the spectrum of a 6-5 start.
"We have had big contributions from several sophomores playing big roles in the season," assistant coach Cameron Kopp said. "We have several players playing new positions and working hard to get better each day."
Nick Tinajero (.400 average), Nik Hollis (.387) and Michael Rago (.375) lead the offense. Aidan Kress pitched a complete game in the win over Glenbard East while Nick Neagle has a 2.20 ERA.
After a slow start, Lisle (3-8) is coming along nicely with three wins in the last week and a half.
The Lions picked up their first conference win 5-4 over Peotone on Monday. They also defeated a sectional rival DePaul Prep 17-4.
"We are scuffling along (but) we are improving everyday," Lisle coach Pete Meyer said. "Very young team with several players who have been out for injuries or COVID and hopefully we will be 100% in a couple weeks when it really counts."
Junior Nick Jachim is hitting .405 with 6 doubles and 7 RBI. He's also been the team's No. 1 pitcher.
Wheaton North update:
The Falcons entered the week at 7-9 which includes winning two out of three from both Batavia and Glenbard North. They have key games coming up Thursday and a doubleheader Saturday against Wheaton Warrenville South.
Sophomore Tyler O'Connor leads Wheaton North in batting average (.360) and RBIs.