Richards finally breaks throughCarlos Rodriguez pitches for Richards against Tinley Park. | Paul James Bergstrom~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 12, 2011 8:13PM
With nine batters having had reached base through four innings, Richards had chances to blow open Thursday’s game at Tinley Park.
However, with three runners getting caught stealing on the basepaths, the Bulldogs managed only one run as they headed into the fifth inning tied up.
Richards finally broke through, putting up a five-spot in the fifth on the way to an 8-1 win in a South Suburban crossover.
“We had a lot of baserunners on early, but we had some bad baserunning,” Richards’ Jim Augle said. “It was just a matter of time (in the fifth).”
Augle went 1-for-3 with a solo homer and two runs for Richards (18-9, 12-5). Tyler Sheehan (2 RBI) and Lou Castro (3-for-4, RBI) also chipped in for the Bulldogs.
Facing Tinley Park starter Pat Cosgrave his third time through the order, Augle started the fifth by drawing a walk. After singles by Jordan Julian and Castro, Ricky Palacios’ sacrifice fly to right brought home Augle from third to break the tie.
Alex Szafoni and Jon Danielson followed with RBI singles, setting up Sheehan’s two-run double that capped the offensive outburst.
“We’d seen the pitcher a couple of times and we had his timing down,” Augle said. “Everything was clicking.”
Richards starter Carlos Rodriguez (5-1) had all the support he would need. The only mistake he made came in the bottom of the third against Tinley’s Andrew Sebastian, who drilled a Rodriguez offering over the left-field fence to tie the game at 1.
“It’s going to happen,” Rodriguez said with a smile. “You throw strikes and balls are going to be hit. Tip your hat. That’s all you can do. You just have to keep your composure.”
Rodriguez did more than that, retiring the next eight batters he faced. He went the route, allowing four hits and four walks while striking out 12, mixing in a 12-to-6 curve with a slider and fastball.
“I felt good, and I was just waiting for the shadows to hit the middle of the field,” Rodriguez said. “I just had to locate my fastball when I wasn’t coming over the top with my (off-speed) pitches.”
Sebastian went 2-for-3 for Tinley Park (16-9, 8-7).
Augle’s first-inning homer started the scoring, an opposite-field solo shot to left-center.
“I missed on the first pitch,” Augle said. “The second pitch was the same thing, missed fastball, but I was able to get hold of it.”