Baseball: Ryan Suwanski shines as Dundee-Crown downs LarkinLarkin's Brandon Avila (25) is tagged out at third by Dundee-Crown's Nick Hathon (3) during the second inning at Larkin High School in Elgin, Ill., on Friday, March 16, 2012.
| Andrew A. Nelles~For Sun-Times Media |
Updated: March 16, 2012 8:48PM
Dundee-Crown’s Ryan Suwanski was tough on the Royse family Friday, while the Chargers as a team were simply tough on the Larkin Royals in the season-opener for both baseball teams.
Suwanski homered off starting pitcher Austin Royse, then homered later off Brayden Royse, and D-C sophomore pitcher Erik Brewer allowed three hits in five innings of an 11-4 nonconference Chargers road victory.
“I know we’re going to be a pretty good power-hitting team,” said new Chargers coach Tom Parisi. “They showed that strength in cages hitting inside and it just carried outside.”
Suwanski hit a solo home run to break a 2-2 tie leading off the fourth and the Chargers never trailed again. They scored four that inning to take a 6-2 lead. In the seventh, he swatted a two-run shot to start a four-run outburst. In between, he struck out twice.
“I’ll be more consistent in the future,” he said. “This was my first at-bats. I’ve been swinging pretty good in practice, with more line drives.
“That second home run was off a curve. I just kept calm and that curve came in and it was hanging a little and I ripped it.”
The Chargers had 13 hits, including a 3-for-4 effort with a double by leadoff man Jake Romano, who had a third-inning, run-scoring, go-ahead single go off the fence in right and just miss a home run by six inches. Mike Hazelhurst and Gerrat Ryan had two hits each for D-C.
“We’ve got some good guys with the bat,” Suwanski said. “Jake had a bomb. He’s a fantastic hitter. We’re going to have a good season.”
The pitching was only slightly less effective for D-C. Brewer, who pitched part of his freshman season with the varsity, struck out six and allowed three hits and one earned run over five innings. The Chargers struggled in the field, as Larkin did, but Brewer didn’t let it affect him. Despite five errors and a few other mistakes, the Royals scored only two runs before Brewer gave way to Suwanski to close the game.
Suwanski struck out Rob Peterson with two on in the second, and stranded seven Royals on the bases in all.
“Errors happen,” Brewer said. “Whenever that happens, you’ve just got to bear down and any one of your teammates or yourself can pick us up and get us through the error we had.
“That’s what we’re going to do this season as a team. So it’s going to be a habit of all our pitchers.”
Larkin played without three starters, suspended seven games for violating team rules. The Royals got three hits and an RBI from Brandon Avila, two hits from Pete Lennard and two hits and an RBI from Niko Morado.
“I think we did some things well,” coach Matt Esterino said. “At times it looked like a first game with guys playing in different positions and having guys in different spots in the order.
“We had a couple key errors that allowed them to add on and they made us pay. I thought they did a good job answering, too. Any time we got close, the next inning they put one or two on. We have a good, baseball-intelligent team and we’ll learn from our mistakes.”
Austin Royse took the loss with six hits and six runs, only two earned, through 3 1/3 innings. He struck out five and walked three. Sean Maloney pitched 2 2/3 innings of three-hit relief and allowed one run.