Baseball: Adam Reuss provides gem in relief for WarrenCasey Cobe (left) and Thomas Kenny watch their big brothers Justin Cobe and Pat Kenney play for Warren during their baseball game against Waukegan at Warren's Almond Road Campus. | Michael Schmidt~Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 21, 2012 9:57PM
Though the overall game wasn’t an artistic success, Warren reliever Adam Reuss pitched a masterpiece on Wednesday.
The junior righty worked four near-perfect innings, fanning nine of the last 10 hitters he faced, to bail out the host Blue Devils as they beat Waukegan 7-5 in a nonconference matchup.
Reuss took the bump in the fourth with the Devils (1-1) up 6-4. He hit the first batter he faced, and that runner eventually scored.
But from there, he was unhittable as he protected the slim lead.
“We talked with him after his last outing (a loss against Carmel),” Warren coach Clint Smothers said. “We had a little heart-to-heart. We told him we had to have a better demeanor out on the mound from him, and he responded. That was a great effort tonight. He worked hard and went after their hitters.”
Statistically, it was a strange game. Waukegan (0-4), which is gaining a reputation as being punchless at the plate, had just two hits, but scored four times in the third inning to make it a 5-4 contest and knock out luckless starter Pat Kenney.
Warren’s five early runs included a three-run bomb by Anthony Garza. Warren could have had more, but had three runners thrown out on the bases without a ball being hit.
“We’re young,” Smothers said. “We’re going to make some mistakes. Right now, we want to continue teaching these kids so as the season goes along, we can clean up some of the issues we had tonight.”
At the plate, Kenney was 3-for-3 with a single, double and triple. Garza had two hits, as did Donny Crunkilton.
Waukegan, meanwhile, used five pitchers — Colton Luth, Sean Bakkum, Grant Wozniak, Alex Papandreou and Andrew Hotze — with none going more than two innings. Only starter/loser Luth had bad numbers.
Waukegan’s hits were by Andrew Hotze and Matt Ree. Ray Williams was hit twice and scored both times. Waukegan successfully laid down three sacrifice bunts, with runners scoring on two of them (laid down by Andrew Montemayor and Steven Yeater).
“Ideally, we want to be hitting the ball better than we have been,” said assistant coach Nate Weber. “But when you can get five runs on just two hits in a tight game, you’ve done a good job manufacturing runs.”