Baseball: Morris gets jump on Minooka
The BBCOR Bats, new to high school baseball this season, were supposed to decrease run production.
With Minooka left-hander Josh Jimenez on the mound for Monday’s battle with Grundy County rival Morris, you might have suspected the Redskins would have difficulty scoring runs.
Not so. Coach Todd Kein’s team came out and dropped a 10-spot on Jimenez and the Indians in the top of the first inning en route to a 14-9 victory.
“I was telling our coaches that if I could have imagined a nightmare, it wouldn’t have been that bad,” Minooka coach Jeff Petrovic said. “That’s something you never would have anticipated, especially with the new bats.”
Adding to Jimenez’s day was Jake Capko’s shot up the middle that caught him in the throat and went for an infield single.
“I could see the mark even before I cross the line to go out to see how he was,” Petrovic said.
Capko was the fifth hitter in the inning. Jimenez stuck around for five more batters before left-hander Josh Mitchell relieved. He was charged with nine of the runs, six of which were earned.
“I love to come out and swing the bats and put runs on the board, but when you do that too early, sometimes it takes air out of you,” Kein said. “That was our challenge today, how to sustain, keep our focus and play defense the rest of the game.”
Minooka (0-1) did its part to keep things interesting. After Mitchell ended the first inning, he tossed four shutout innings, allowing one hit after the Redskins (2-2) bunched seven hits in the first.
Meanwhile, a hitter-friendly south wind had the ball carrying at Minooka’s home diamond like a game in May. The Indians scored nine times in their first four at-bats to get to within 10-9. Carson Newshwander homered, added two doubles and drove in four runs. Max Brozovitch homered, doubled and drove in two. Joe Carnagio hit the fence with a two-run double. Dane Colvin had two hits and a walk.
“It was easy to panic after that start, and it’s easy to look at negatives like the giveaways and botched plays we had, but we did a lot of things right,” Petrovic said. “We had a good approach at the plate, didn’t swing at bad pitches and got lots of scoring from the bottom of our lineup.”
Morris right-hander Preston Miracle relieved starter Brian Henry with two outs in the bottom of the fourth, allowed Neushwander’s two-run double that made it 10-9 but slammed the door the rest of the way. The Redskins made it more comfortable with a four-run sixth.
“I felt I was hitting my spots,” Miracle said. “I just wanted to minimize the damage and get ground balls.”
Miracle had three hits (one a two-run single), a walk and was hit by a pitch in five plate appearances. Jake Ruettiger and Ryan Borgstrom had two hits for Morris. Greg Struck (double) and Jake Olson each drove in two.