Baseball: Downers South too much for Benet
Updated: March 20, 2012 8:17PM
With a swing of the bat in the first inning from junior Pat McInerney Sunday at St. Rita, Benet got the Scott Lawler era off to a good start en route to pulling out an 8-4 upset of the eighth-ranked Mustangs.
Playing a second straight ranked team on the road in three days to begin the season, the Redwings had the tables turned on them Tuesday in Downers Grove as No. 21 Downers Grove South capitalized on a two-run homer from Danny Mayer in the first inning on the way to opening its season with a 4-2 victory.
Mayer’s two-run blast off Benet starter Bobby Hayes, which landed just right of the left-field foul pole, preceded a pair of passed balls from Redwings’ catcher Kevin Jendra, the second of which allowed Travis Hill to cross home with the game’s first run.
“Every single time I went to the plate, I’m always looking for [a] fastball. First-pitch fastball and the kid had a good curveball. I have to give him that,” Mayer said. “I swung at a 3-1 curveball and that’s not what I was looking for. But 3-2 (count), he gave me the fastball and I just jumped right on it and it just went [out].”
The Mustangs’ three-run first gave their starter, senior left-hander Nick Vanek, some cushion to work with as Vanek wiggled out of trouble all day long against Benet (1-1).
The Redwings got their leadoff man aboard in three of the game’s first four innings and couldn’t do anything with it. Twice, they got that man to third base with one out and couldn’t find a way to get him home.
“We got to grow. We have a good team but a young team — even some of our older guys that were hurt last year. So we have to come together and learn from things like that,” Lawler said. “So a lot of times, young guys will try to do too, too much when there [are] guys in scoring position and we got to do some little things to get runs.”
Trailing 4-0 going into the top of the fourth after Hayes balked in a run, the Redwings began the frame by loading the bases with nobody out, prompting Downers South coach Darren Orel to remove Vanek from the game after throwing three-plus innings.
Mustangs’ junior right-hander Brian Glowicki immediately induced Andrew Mogni to hit a ball right back to him and start a 1-2-3 double play before eventually fanning Chris Seiboldt swinging to end the threat.
“Coach gave me the call and said, ‘one more batter,’ and I looked over and bases were loaded at that point. I was just like, ‘go in and do a job.’ Don’t try and do too much,” Glowicki said of getting out of the fourth-inning jam. “Just go in there, throw strikes, get people out. That’s what happened.”
Topping the radar gun at 89 miles-per-hour with his fastball, Glowicki (1-0) earned the win for Downers South (1-0) after throwing four innings in relief of Vanek and striking out seven Redwings.
“Glowicki, he’s the real deal in my mind. I mean he’s got some real potential and I couldn’t be more pleased with him and Vanek on the mound,” Orel said.
Undaunted by their failure to get any runs across the plate in the fourth, the Redwings finally got on the scoreboard in the sixth, courtesy of an error, and loaded the bases off Glowicki with one out in the seventh.
Hitting Redwings’ senior third baseman Sam Santa Maria to bring home another run, giving McInerney, who went 2-for-4, and Chris Stout an opportunity to potentially tie the game up with a hit, Glowicki bore down by fanning both men to end the game.
Despite taking the loss for Benet, Hayes (0-1) settled in after the first by allowing just one more run the rest of the way while fanning seven and surrendering just two hits in 4 2/3 innings.
“They out-battled us the first couple innings and I have to give them a lot of credit for that,” Lawler said. “We didn’t match their intensity and I thought we did later on. But we didn’t come out (with it). When you play good teams like this, you gotta go seven innings hard and [I’m] proud of the guys for coming back and battling at the end. But I wish it started from the get-go.”