Baseball: St. Charles East’s Nick Huskisson shuts down ElginSt. Charles East's Nick Huskinsson delivers a pitch against Elgin on Tuesday afternoon in St. Charles. | Karen Naess ~ For Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 29, 2012 11:01AM
Nick Huskisson and his St. Charles East teammates dealt Elgin a familiar outcome Tuesday.
Huskisson struck out eight and walked only one while tossing a shutout as the host Saints topped the Maroons 2-0 in the Upstate Eight River opener for both teams.
Elgin (4-11, 0-8) managed just three hits off Huskisson (1-2) and failed to score for the third straight game. The Maroons have lost nine in a row overall, and seven of those defeats have come by two runs or fewer.
“My fastball command was really what led me to have success today,” Huskisson said. “When that is on a lot of good things happen. I was just getting ahead of hitters and trying to stay ahead.”
St. Charles East (8-5, 6-2) won for the sixth time in seven games, and Huskisson’s mastery of Elgin’s hitters overshadowed a solid outing by Maroons starter Alex Doty (1-3).
The Western Illinois-bound ace struck out three, walked none and allowed one earned run on four hits, but he was again was the victim of insufficient run support. Elgin has combined to score only two runs in Doty’s three defeats.
“Alex was real sharp today,” Elgin coach Dave Foerster said. “I told him I’ll take that effort any day and take my chances. It’s just a matter of time before we start hitting.”
The Maroons committed three errors, one of which came in the bottom of the third when St. Charles East tallied both of its runs.
The rally began with one out when Nathan Sharko hit a grounder that squirted through the right side of the infield. Elgin second baseman Derek Strohmaier tracked the ball down on the edge of the outfield grass, but his throw was a half-step late as Sharko legged out a single.
Nicholas Erickson followed with a looper to shallow center and reached safely when Maroons center fielder Chris Edwards dropped the ball for an error. Jordan Hayes and Joe Hoscheit followed with back-to-back RBI singles to drive in Sharko and Erickson.
“We knew this was going to be a low-scoring ballgame and we weren’t going to push the ball too much on this guy (Doty),” St. Charles East coach Len Asquini said. “It was great to see our guys come through with those clutch hits. We had limited opportunities, but we took advantage of those limited opportunities.”