Baseball: Glenbrook South’s Sam Koloms stymies Niles West
Glenbrook South junior Sam Koloms doesn’t possess the biggest, most deceptive curveball in the Central Suburban League, yet he’s been one of the conference’s most effective pitchers this season.
His command and ability to throw two pitches for strikes in any count are the primary reasons for this year’s success, and both of Koloms’ strengths were on full display in Glenbrook South’s 4-1 victory against Niles West.
Koloms mixed his fastball and curveball with a great deal of effectiveness throughout Tuesday’s game, limiting Niles West’s powerful offense to only four hits and one unearned run.
“All I’ve got to do is get it over for a strike,” Koloms said of his curveball. “That’s the key for me: stay ahead.”
As Koloms got ahead against the Wolves’ hitters, Glenbrook South’s hitters got their starting pitcher ahead by scoring a run off Niles West ace Jason Meger in the first inning.
Glenbrook South centerfielder Sully Stadler drove in Josiah Carlson in bottom of the first. Stadler’s RBI single provided Koloms with a cushion which allowed the junior to challenge each member of Niles West’s lineup.
Koloms’ game plan was to “work them away and get my curveball over for strikes,” he said. “Just be aggressive and go right at them.”
More than just having excellent command this season, Koloms, who struck out six Niles West batters in seven innings Tuesday, has displayed the competitive spirit needed to attack the CSL’s best lineups. That combination has led to a 4-1 record and made a positive impression on Glenbrook South coach Bob Rosinski.
“He’s had a bunch of good outings,” Rosinski said. “I don’t think he’s had a bad outing this year. He had a Wheaton North game where he struck out 15; this game. His only loss was to New Trier in a 2-1 game where he struck out 10 kids. He’s a great competitor and he’s become a bulldog on the mound. He just throws strikes and battles kids.”
Glenbrook South (17-6, 7-2 CSL South) added a second run to its lead in the third inning when Max Cohen walked with the bases loaded. The Titans took a 4-0 lead in the fifth inning when Niles West (19-5, 4-5 CSL South) tried to turn an inning-ending double play but threw the ball away.
The Titans’ ability to manufacture runs on Tuesday highlights one of the primary reasons why Niles West, after recording 19 wins in its first 21 games, is currently on a three-game losing streak.
“We’ll have a good quality pitcher on the mound on Thursday and so will (Glenbrook South),” Niles West coach Garry Gustafson said. “(Winning Thursday) is a matter of who manufactures runs and plays good defense. We’ll both have good pitchers on the mound, so it’s just a matter of just producing and gutting it out. That’s what we’ve got to do. We haven’t been scoring a lot of runs, so we’ve got to get some runs on the board.”