Baseball: Andrew overpowers Oak ForestJustin Rzeszutko, of Andrew, connects for his second home run against Oak Forest at Oak Forest, Tuesday, March 27th, 2012 in Oak Forest, IL. l Gary Middendorf~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 27, 2012 3:50PM
The sight of Oak Forest ace pitcher Kyle Funkhouser getting pulled from a game doesn’t happen very often — unless it’s precautionary.
The Louisville recruit was 12-0 with a 0.85 ERA and struck out 134 in 82 2/3 innings last season. He fired a hitless five innings in his season-opening debut March 20.
Andrew’s Thunderbolts, however, weren’t impressed by the gaudy numbers.
Dan Durkin and Justin Rzeszutko clubbed home runs off Funkhouser to lead Andrew to a 20-5 victory over host Oak Forest in a Tuesday mismatch.
Funkhouser allowed eight runs, six of which were earned, and eight hits in 5⅓ innings. He struck out nine in an 87-pitch performance.
The Thunderbolts (3-1) recorded 20 hits on the day, including six homers. Granted, a strong wind was blowing directly out. But it was blowing out for both teams.
“It was one of those days,” Andrew coach Dave DeHaan said. “We had some pretty good approaches against him (Funkhouser).”
No one had a better approach than Durkin, who finished 5-for-5 and drove in four runs. Last season, the junior third baseman was 1-for-3 with two strikeouts against Funkhouser. “He got the best of me last year,” Durkin said. “I got behind in the count last year. I was swinging at the first good pitch I saw today.”
Durkin, a left-handed hitter, laced an outside fastball over the left-center field fence for a 1-0 first-inning lead.
Rzeszutko drilled a three-run blast in the third. The left-handed-hitting outfielder added another shot in the seventh, one of four home runs the Thunderbolts hit in the final inning.
Pat Elget (2-for-5, four RBI), Zach Klockowski (2-for-3, two RBI) and Mark Kane (2-for-5, RBI) all homered. Brian Grad added three hits and two RBI in five trips.
“I told the kids, ‘No one expects us to compete today,’ ” DeHaan said. “ ‘Let’s have some fun and see what happens.’ ”
Pat McKeown got the win for Andrew, allowing six hits, five runs and striking out six in 5⅔ innings. John Zubek and Colton Charbonneau each hit two-run homers for the Bengals (1-1) during a four-run sixth. Oak Forest sophomore Brian Richard reached base four times, going 2-for-2 with two walks.