Better effort : Sports : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
|Oswego East bounces back after loss in Yorkville to sweep Plano|
|by Laura M. Medina|
Oswego East's summer baseball team has seemingly saved its best ball for the end of the summer season, as it swept a doubleheader at Plano, 9-1 and 11-0, on Tuesday in two of the last games of its schedule before the playoffs.
With their pair of victories, the Wolves improved to 12-6 overall and bounced back from Monday afternoon's loss to Yorkville.
The wins are coming at an opportune time for Oswego East, which returned to the diamond for a home twinbill versus Glenbard West on Wednesday. Results were unavailable at press time, but the team is back in action next week at a wooden bat tournament before starting the playoffs in late July.
Defeating Plano was first on its plan on action, and Tuesday's games featured a balance between timely offense and effective pitching.
In the opener, the Wolves got things started with two runs in the first inning, one on centerfielder Tyler Linna's sacrifice line-out and the other on left fielder Matt Rhode's RBI double. Plano got one of those back on Shawn Cochran's RBI-double in the bottom half.
Oswego East came back with two more in the second, with RBI-singles from Grant Argyilan and second baseman Noah Anderson to give the visiting side a 4-1 lead.
"We came out with a little bit more energy for whatever reason, and I think that (Monday), we came out a little flat," Wolves head coach Bobby Kaminski said. "We pitched well, so that helps everything. Our pitchers were throwing strikes, we were playing good defense behind them and we got out to a lead, and that leads to good things."
Working with the advantage allowed right-hander JT Schurr to throw an effective outing, where he gave up a run, three hits and two walks while striking out five in five innings.
Schurr was also supported by his team's five-run surge in the fifth. Shortstop Garrett Goetz started things off with an RBI-double, and he was followed by catcher Devin Geoffroy's RBI-single in the next at-bat. Geoffroy soon came home on a passed ball to make it 7-1.
Three batters later, Schurr helped his own cause with a two-run single that plated third baseman Jake Leonar and Argyilan. In all, 11 batters came to the plate as Oswego East built its eventual 9-1 win.
Cochran, the right-handed starter, gave up four of those runs on six hits and two walks, while fanning two in four innings. He was spelled by right-hander Tyler Ward in the fifth, who surrendered five runs on four hits and two walks in 2-3 of an inning.
Right-hander Joe Krotz came out in relief of Ward, allowing a single and hitting a batter before getting the final out.
"We've been talking about momentum and capitalizing on big innings," Kaminski said. "Some days, you're just seeing the ball really well, and I think that was the case for some of our guys."
In the nightcap, not only were the Wolves seeing the ball well, but they were also throwing it well enough to keep the Reapers off balance.
Right-hander Chandler Stich tossed four innings of no-hit ball until Cochran's lead-off single in the top of the fifth. But it was the only hit allowed by the Oswego East starter, who also recorded 10 strikeouts, including seven straight from the second through the fourth innings.
"(Stitch's) last two outings have been phenomenal and the thing about him is he's a kid who we're going to need next year and who we anticipate will step up," Kaminski said. "He didn't get a ton of innings last year, but he's probably one of the - if not the most - coachable kids I've ever been around.
"He's always soaking something up and learning something and does a great job with it; every time he steps on the field, you can see the growth, and it's exciting to see what he does with it."
Stitch was supported by consistent offense in every inning, with a six-run output in the fourth marking Oswego East's best effort of the day. Already working with a 4-0 lead, first baseman Cameron Keller brought Argyilan home with a double to left, while left fielder Connor Keller drove in two on a long single to right.
Two batters later, Schurr plated two on a triple to right for the nine-run advantage. That spelled the end of Krotz's outing, as he gave up 10 runs on 11 hits and two walks. He also fanned five in 3 1-3 innings.
Right-hander Carlos Martinez spelled Krotz and gave up an unearned run, a hit and a walk, while striking out one in his 2-3 innings.
Left-hander Daniel Schane came on in the fifth and struck out the first batter he faced. He then hit Cameron Keller, who eventually came around to score on Schurr's fly-out to make it an 11-0 game. Schane conceded a hit, while also walking another and fanning two in his inning of work.
"The thing that I'm impressed with is that this is the only baseball they play in the summer; it's the only time they see live pitching," Reapers head coach John Parpet said.
"We know the things we need to work on, just as they do. Fundamentals are something that we always strive for. We have to use a lot of these games; there are teachable moments in every one."
As Plano works with a young squad, Oswego East, with 12 of its 22 summer players returning from the spring season, has plenty of reason to celebrate its accomplishments thus far. But with several games left before the playoffs, the Wolves plan on extending their success both on and off the field.
"More than anything, as a team, we're continuing to try to improve every day. You're either getting better or worse every time you step on the field," Kaminski said. "We want to make sure we're taking advantage of the days we have this summer, because we did some decent things last spring, but we know what our goals are moving forward.
"The summer season is all about developing players, gaining experience, trying guys at different spots and us as a coaching staff learning what we have going into next spring. I love the format of the summer, where you have the opportunity with two five-inning games to see everyone every day. It's open competition for certain positions, and kids are taking the opportunities."
Notes: Oswego East and Yorkville had been scheduled for a doubleheader on Monday, but they were only able to play the opener. In it, the Foxes staked a 5-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning and held on for the 9-3 victory.
Jack Borvan highlighted the Wolves' offense with a two-run homer over the left field fence in the top of the second inning to create a 5-3 score. Tyler Linna took the loss on the mound for Oswego East over four innings of work. Game 2 was called in the second inning due to inclement weather.