Baseball: Cory Evans can do it all for Maine EastMaine East's Cory Evans (left) turns a double play as teammate Tyler Glowacki (left) watches and Hoffman Estates Kevin Grudzinski is out at second base during their baseball game at Maine East. | Michael Schmidt~Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 16, 2012 6:53PM
To say that Maine East’s Cory Evans has been hot to start the 2012 baseball season would be like saying that Derrick Rose has a nice jump shot.
The senior righty has been brilliant on the mound with a 5-0 record and 1.60 ERA, while averaging a strikeout per inning pitched. He’s been lights-out at the plate as well, hitting .533 with 13 RBI and eight stolen bases as the Blue Demons’ leadoff hitter.
“Our new assistant coaches (Tony Gliffe and Stan Breitzman) have been helping out a lot and my pitching has improved a lot,” Evans said. “It’s just been getting ahead in the count, getting batters off-balance and changing my patterns.”
Evans, who pitched a lot during Little League, primarily played shortstop his first two years. But second-year head coach Ron Clark saw something special in Evans when he took over as head coach last season.
“I knew he was an athletic kid and anytime you have an athletic kid with a live arm you have an opportunity to be a good pitcher,” Clark said. “I brought it to him and he said he’d give it a try. He has a knack for it. He’s always had pretty solid mechanics.
“The thing he has going for him is that he has command. He can throw a few pitches and put it where it needs to be. He doesn’t throw extremely hard but he throws hard enough to give teams problems.”
At the plate, Evans was the team’s top hitter last season but he’s taken it to new heights this year. And again, he gives all the credit to coaching.
“(Gliffe) has helped break down our swings and improve them,” Evans said. “Helping us get a better read off the ball and knowing where it’s located and where you need to hit it. I’m more aggressive now and can pull the ball more now. But I can hit to any direction too.”
Evans is planning on attending Oakton College, where he’ll play baseball and study physical education.
Maine East entered the week with a record of 9-4, which is more than twice as many wins as they had all last season (4-20). Enduring that kind of season helped motivate Evans and his teammates.
“It’s really exciting how much the team has improved over the offseason,” Evans said. “The attitude has changed. We’re more hopeful and we’re trying our best in every game.”
The Blue Demons opened CSL play last week with a 10-3 win over Waukegan. Evans went the distance, giving up just one earned run on seven hits. He walked two and struck out seven.
At the plate, twin brothers Andrew and Tyler Glowacki both went 3-for-4.
Maine East dropped a 6-0 decision to Niles West in a CSL crossover on April 12. While the Blue Demons played the Wolves closer than in the past, it wasn’t enough for Evans.
“It was an improvement, but we still didn’t play our best,” he said. “(Niles West’s Kyle Colletta) pitched really well but we needed to be more aggressive.”