York shuts out Oak Park again

Story Image 7/19/11 River Forest ,IL
Oak Park-River Forest's Dain Mrozeck (27) tries to throw out a baserunner against York in a summer baseball tournament at the Dominican Priory in River Forest on July 19, 2011. | Rob Hart~Sun-Times Media

Updated: July 19, 2011 9:58PM



York’s River Pitlock made sure the Oak Park-River Forest bats were about as cold as the day was hot Tuesday.

Pitlock pitched a two-hitter as the Dukes won 7-0 over the Huskies in the Fenwick Regional quarterfinals of the Illinois High School Baseball Coaches Association state tournament.

York continued its diamond mastery over Oak Park with the victory — the fourth time the Dukes have shut out the Huskies in 2011.

The first five batters for No. 13-seeded York (12-17) all delivered hits and scored, while Pitlock went the distance, striking out six and walking no one en route to the win.

“I feel great,” Pitlock said after going seven innings in 90-plus degree temperatures. “The heat didn’t bother me at all and I was locating the ball well pretty much the whole game.”

After allowing a leadoff double to Oak Park’s Zach Weigel in the first inning and a single to Alex Rice in the second, Pitlock retired 17 of the next 18 Huskie hitters — with the only baserunner reaching on a fifth-inning error.

York, which didn’t allow a run to No. 5 tourney seed Oak Park (14-8) during three spring meetings, got its offense on track immediately off Oak Park starter Nick Kowalczuk, who went just two-thirds of an inning.

Pitlock (2-for-3, run) hit the first offering from Kowalczuk for a ground-rule double and Jake Rzoszutko hit the next pitch for a single to drive in Pitlock with the first run. After advancing to second base, Pete Doughty (3-for-4) smacked an RBI single to bring home Rzoszutko and Anthony Santos (2 hits, 3 RBI) followed that with a towering two-run homer over the fence in right centerfield.

A single and a stolen base by the next hitter, Matt DiFancesca, resulted in another run for the Dukes when Josh Paparone’s hit made the score 5-0. The Dukes added single tallies in the third and fourth innings.

Oak Park edged Glenbard West 6-4 Monday to advance, but Oak Park coach Chris Ledbetter said his squad has a lot of things to work at the plate and on the mound.

“I saw a team that really hasn’t played that much together out there today,” Ledbetter said after the York loss. “It’s hard to just turn it on, and a lot of these guys play on travel team or on other sports and that has been how the summer league has gone for us the past couple of years. It can be a struggle to get your kids here because of so many other tournaments or practices.

“We need a lot of work, but we got to two state championship games after having losing summers, so this is no indication of what it’s going to be like in the spring. At this point I would have liked to have seen guys compete a little bit more, but we’re getting better at some things — small ball for example — and that’s what the offseason is for. We understand what it takes to be competitive and we’ll get to that level.”

No. 6 Fenwick dropped its first game in the tournment 13-7 to No. 11 De La Salle Monday. After trailing 8-0, the Friars battled back to pull to within 8-7 but failed to score again.

“I think the summer league showed that you don’t know what to expect from a lot of the guys,” Friars coach Dave Hogan said. “Depth is a question and we need to work on more consistent outfield play. That hurt us against De La Salle and in other games this summer. But I think we should be OK next spring with the group we have here.”

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