Baseball: Waubonsie Valley’s Ryan Vasicek one-hits ElginWaubonsie Valley's Ryan Vasicek throws a pitch during the first inning of his shutout effort against Elgin on Friday, April 13, 2012, in Aurora. | Jeff Cagle~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 13, 2012 8:13PM
Pitching has been the strength of Waubonsie Valley’s baseball team so far this season, but senior Ryan Vasicek has just been waiting for a chance to throw his hat in the ring.
After spending the season in the bullpen, Vasicek got his opportunity Friday against Elgin.
After tossing a complete game, one-hitter in the Warriors’ 1-0 Upstate Eight win, it appears the Warriors’ pitching depth just got a little deeper.
Vasicek was economical, needing only around 80 pitches, as he struck out four and walked one to earn his first decision of the year.
“I’ve been pushing since the start of the season to get a start,” Vasicek said. “I like the bullpen role, but starter is where I’ve always wanted to be. It was a good hitting day, but I kept it low and kept the hitters off-balance with my pitches. I just kept it low and my defense did the rest.”
It turns out that the Warriors (5-7, 2-4) needed all of those quick outs Vasicek delivered as a season-long offensive slump continued. It took Waubonsie until the fifth inning to finally get to Elgin senior Eric Daly (0-3). Daly had faced the minimum through four innings before Tyler Josupait led off the fifth with a single.
Eventually, he stood on third base with Sean Grannan at first and one out when Zac Steele stepped in. The Warriors put on the squeeze play to score Josupait with the lone run of the game.
“I was thinking, ‘We’re squeezing here,’ ’’ Waubonsie coach Dan Fezzuoglio said. “We’re going right away because if it goes deeper in the count, then they think and they can throw pitch-outs and stuff. I said, ‘We’re going right now.’ ’’
That gave the loss to Daly, who is winless for Elgin (4-9, 0-6) despite being solid every time out. He struck out five and walked none Friday.
“He was outstanding,” Elgin coach David Foerster said. “He’s been our tough luck guy all year. He’s been really good. He goes after hitters, challenges them. He’s not a big guy, but he’ll go after you. You can’t ask for more of an effort. He was outstanding.”
Waubonsie now has wins in back-to-back games going into Saturday’s nonconference showdown with Wheaton Warrenville South. And Fezzuoglio knows that he now has another starter he can rely on behind Mitch Stefani, James Palasz and Troy Fumagalli.
“He really loves to pitch and he wants the ball,” Fezzuoglio said of Vasicek. “Deeper in the week, to have a guy like Ryan who maybe earlier in the week can close for you and then come back and make a start, that’s a credit to him. He’s a real competitor and he loves to pitch. He did a great job today.”