Baseball: Naperville Central, Glenbard North split two
Updated: May 5, 2012 4:53PM
Coming into Saturday, training itself on going out and winning series had placed Naperville Central atop of the DuPage Valley Conference all by its lonesome, having won all four series inside the conference.
Rewarded a day before by taking two of three from Wheaton North to give it a one-game lead over both Wheaton North and Naperville North, Naperville Central’s reward Saturday from pushing its number of DVC series won from four to five on Saturday by winning a game against Glenbard North?
A three-way tie atop the conference as the Redhawks finished off the Panthers, 10-1, in the resumption of Tuesday’s suspended game behind senior right-hander Ian Lewandowski before getting shut out, 1-0, by the Panthers in a game that was originally scheduled for last Saturday to conclude the three-game series in Naperville.
Having already staked themselves to a 3-1 lead when play was stopped Tuesday in the top of the third inning, the Redhawks (17-10, 11-4 DuPage Valley) scored a combined seven runs in their first three at-bats upon resuming the game off Panthers’ junior Ryan Tintera
The offensive onslaught against Tintera was highlighted by plating three runs each in the third and fifth.
All that run support was more than enough for Lewandowski, who went six innings Monday against the Panthers, getting a no-decision.
In 3 2/3 innings of work, Lewandowski (5-0) scattered three hits and struck out five, including fanning a pair to strand two runners in scoring position that he inherited in the third.
“I just wanted to come out here with confidence. Men on second and third to start off the game — that’s not the ideal situation a pitcher wants to get into,” said Lewandowski, who lowered his ERA to 0.44 and has been unscored upon in six of his nine appearances. “But I knew that if I just threw strikes, I’d get out of that jam.”
After giving up two earned runs in two innings Tuesday, Matt Albin (4-2) got tagged with the loss for the Panthers, while Lewandowski picked up for junior Cody Campbell.
While Lewandowski shined, Panthers’ junior right-hander Logan Henshall emulated him quite nicely in the game that was originally scheduled for last Saturday.
Henshall, who picked up the loss on Monday by giving up a run in the top of the 11th, fired a two-hitter at the Redhawks’ offense in going the entire way in a 1-0 victory for the Panthers (16-11, 9-6 DuPage Valley).
Embroiled in a pitchers’ duel with Redhawks’ junior right-hander Zach Aranoff, Henshall (3-1) was very economical in issuing no walks and retired the last 13 men to step into the batters’ box against him.
“I love the (pressure). Whatever we got to do to win; that’s fine with me. I love having fun,” said Henshall, who struck out five. “Good game. Nice weather. Just getting out there and do all that I can.”
Aranoff (1-4) got the tough-luck loss after allowing just one run on four hits while fanning four in 5 1/3 innings of work.
The Panthers scored the game’s lone run in the sixth by getting two singles off Aranoff and executing a perfect suicide squeeze with one out as Ryan Gallagher got the bunt down off the man who relieved Aranoff, junior left-hander Jeff Schank, scoring Ryan Storto.
“(Gallagher) isn’t a guy who we’re looking to squeeze (with). We’re struggling to score runs and it was a good opportunity for us to do that at that time,” Glenbard North coach Rich Smelko said.
With five DVC series down and two left to play — highlighted by a three-game series with DVC co-leader Naperville North starting Monday at Naperville North — the Redhawks’ season-long goal is still very much in reach.
The Redhawks have won five of their last seven meeting in their series with the Huskies, who have won 12 games in a row to dig themselves out of a 4-10 start to currently sit at 17-11.
“It’s nice to win the series, but we wanted to sweep (Wheaton North and Glenbard North). They were both on the top and now we got Naperville North next week, (which) is on the top with us now,” Lewandowski said. “There’s nothing we can do now. We just have to go out there and win Game 1 on Monday.”