Baseball: Palatine’s Kurt Becker shuts down Barrington
Two days after Barrington shut out the Palatine baseball team, the Broncos managed to score a run off starter Kurt Becker in the top of the first inning of Wednesday’s game.
Barrington’s quick strike appeared to be an ominous sign for the Pirates, but Palatine answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first.
The one-run lead allowed Becker, who gave up two hits in the game’s final six innings, to settle in and throw his curveball with extreme effectiveness. The Pirates’ two runs in the top of the first also provided all the offense Becker needed, as the senior shut down Barrington’s offense to lead the Pirates to a 5-1 victory in Palatine.
“It’s very comforting (to pitch) knowing that you have a lead and can work with it,” said Becker, who allowed four hits and walked two batters in seven innings of work. “The more comfortable you get, it really helps you settle in and know you can go right after (hitters) with the lead.”
Palatine (10-17, 5-6 Mid-Suburban League West) scored two runs in the bottom of the first when Dan Riddle’s hardly-hit groundball took a bad hop on Barrington second baseman Dylan Lidge and skirted into the outfield.
The Pirates added to their lead with runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings to put the game out of reach for the Broncos (16-9, 6-5 MSL West).
“(Becker) mostly threw curveballs and we were sitting fastball the whole game, which was our problem,” said Frank Waliczek, who drove in Barrington’s lone run. “We had to be adjusting to the curveball because we can catch up to the fastball. But that curveball, we were rolling over it, getting under it or completely missing. He was commanding his off-speed real (well) and throwing the unexpected pitch at the unexpected time.”