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Roller coaster of a season : Sports : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
Roller coaster of a season
Oswego East baseball team rides out losing streak to finish with 15 wins

by Christine Bolin Dascher

6/12/2014

In his second year as head coach of the Oswego East baseball team, Bobby Kaminski described the 2014 campaign as a roller coaster.

The Wolves went 15-18 overall and certainly had their share of both ups and downs.

"We won the first game (4-2 against Bloomington on March 26), then dropped three straight," Kaminski said. "We won eight, then lost seven straight, so (roller coaster) was exactly it. After our series with Plainfield Central (in early May), I felt like we got back on track - not in terms of wins and losses because we'd win one and lose one - but we started playing sound baseball again and kept competing. At that point we liked our chances coming into the playoffs."

The Wolves' season ended on May 26, when the No. 19 seeded Bolingbrook topped No. 16 Oswego East, 14-6, in the first round of the Class 4A Bolingbrook Regional. Plainfield North ended up defeating the Raiders, 9-8, in the semifinal and went on to win the regional title over Hinsdale Central (8-6).

In the Oswego Sectional, Plainfield North defeated Neuqua Valley (3-2) in the semifinal but fell to Downers Grove South (10-1 victory) in the title game.

St. Rita beat Downers Grove South, 2-1, in the Crestwood Super-Sectional and was one of the Class 4A teams heading to the state tournament this Friday and Saturday at Silver Cross Field. The other three teams are South Elgin, Providence Catholic and Prairie Ridge.

"It's high school baseball - one and done (in the playoffs)," Kaminski said. "Any given team on any given day could end it, and Bolingbrook outplayed us."

In the regular season, on April 19, Oswego East defeated Bolingbrook, 5-1. Other highlights in the year include the Wolves sweeping Oswego and Romeoville in league play.

As far as conference goes, Minooka won the crown at 18-13, followed by Plainfield North (17-4), Plainfield East and Plainfield Central (11-10), Plainfield South (9-12), Oswego East (8-13) and Oswego and Romeoville (5-16).

Just one player from Oswego East, senior outfielder Isaiah Spencer, was on the All-Conference team. Another senior, infielder Nick Dabrowski, will continue playing in college (Hannibal-LaGrange University). Eight seniors graduated, including outfielder Zach Behnke, pitcher Tyler Engleman, catcher Josh Hemmer, pitcher Zach Hutten, outfielder/pitcher Austin Kapusinski, infielder/pitcher Jon Mohler, pitcher Eddie Perez and infielder Jared Litkenhus.

"We're to miss the seniors a lot," junior outfielder Tyler Linna said. "They are good guys and had a big impact on the team."

Linna leads the returning bunch in hits with 24 to go with his 12 RBIs and .279 batting average. Sophomore Vince Schwartz had 22 hits, 12 RBIs and batted .278 while junior infielder Noah Anderson posted 17 hits, nine RBIs and batted .288 and freshman outfielder Dylan Jones ended up with 15 hits, 12 RBIs and batted .288.

Junior pitcher Andrew Stout, Hutten and Kapusinski each finished with three wins on the mound and junior Zak Deverman led the way in strikeouts (45) and innings pitched (41 1/3). Engleman and Hutten each had 41, and Stout was next with 36.

"We had a freshman (Jones) and sophomore (Schwartz) in our lineup consistently and had a handful of juniors who started regularly, so we are excited about what we have coming back and from what we are getting out of our sophomore class," Kaminski said. "I'm very excited to see what the returning group has in store for us."

"The underclassmen stepped up and we played well as a team," Linna added. "We are going to be good after we work hard in the off-season. We are going to get bigger and stronger and do a lot of better things next year."




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