Baseball: Naperville Central’s Cody Campbell silences West AuroraWest Aurora 2nd baseman Adam Lipscomb fumbles the ball while trying to tag out Naperville Central's Ian Lewandowski on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at Naperville Central High School. | Terence Guider-Shaw~For Sun-Times Media
Cody Campbell moved into the Naperville area from Lake Orion, Mich., last summer amid some fanfare and seemingly primed to give Naperville Central another bona fide weapon on the mound behind its ace, senior right-hander Ian Lewandowski.
On Tuesday, Campbell constantly showed glimpses of the promise and abilities that have many in the Redhawks’ program so bullish on where he might fit in working towards what they hope will be a long postseason run.
In by far his best start of the season, Campbell threw a complete game to help lead the way as Naperville Central cruised to an 8-0 victory over West Aurora.
“Probably the curveball, first-pitch fastball strikes. That’s big. First-pitch curveball strikes (are) even bigger,” Campbell said. “(Redhawks’ pitching coach Mike Ulreich) just kept calling it, (I) kept throwing it, kept getting it over the plate.”
Supported by a Redhawks’ offense that pounded out eight runs on 13 hits, Campbell (3-2) scattered just four hits and walked just two while fanning a season-high 12.
“He was in the zone with two pitches, started to get the changeup over at the end and close enough (to the plate) that guys were swinging, putting the ball in play and often times not squaring him up,” Naperville Central coach Mike Stock said of Campbell. “We had a lot of groundballs to the left side that were rolled over and a couple back to him. And that was the difference. He wasn’t going six, seven pitches on every kid. It really kept him sharp.
“It was his best outing so far, but there’s still work to do.”
Tacking on a run in the second inning off West Aurora starter Ottavio Dattolo to take a quick 1-0 lead, Naperville Central (9-6, 4-1 DuPage Valley) exploded for seven runs in the third.
The Redhawks sent 12 men to the plate in the third against Dattolo, with the first seven men reaching base safely.
Of the nine hits in the inning, five went for extra-bases — including a RBI triple from junior Nick Lopez and doubles from Jim Nashert, Lewandowski, Brian Schiemann and Bryce Kirk. Lewandowski, Schiemann and Kirk all knocked in runs with their doubles.
“We came out strong against them (Monday in a 15-0 win) and we carried it over (to Tuesday). We had the same mindset — find fastballs — and we did and we capitalized,” Lopez said.
Four Redhawks — Nashert, Lopez, Schiemann and Kevin Linne — had two hits while five others recorded one hit.
After taking two of three last week from Wheaton Warrenville South to begin DVC play, West Aurora (5-11, 2-3 DuPage Valley) has given up a combined 23 runs on 26 hits over the last two days.
“The last two days, (Lewandowski and Campbell) were the two best pitchers we’ve seen, I think, so far,” West Aurora coach John Reeves said. “And it’s probably the best offense we’ve seen so far. … This (series thus far) has kind of been an eye-opener right now, but we’re gonna come out (Wednesday) fighting and see what it brings us.”
Richie Renner went 3-for-3 for the Blackhawks, while Dattolo (2-4) took the loss after going 3 1/3 innings and giving up eight runs on 12 hits.