Baseball: Joliet West bats come alive in win over Joliet Central
For most of this season, Joliet West junior right-hander Jake Herron would have been justified had he sued his teammates for lack of support.
No longer. The rampaging Tigers scored early and often Thursday in a 9-0 SouthWest Suburban Blue victory over Joliet Central.
Jeff Gersch’s two-run single in the first inning got things going. Anthony DiNardo’s two-run single highlighted a four-run second. Matt Koran slugged his fourth home run in the last two weeks with a runner aboard in the fourth and Justin Jackson pinch hit in the fifth and lined a solo homer to left.
“Yeah, that’s the most runs I’ve gotten. It makes it a lot easier,” said Herron (5-3), who went five innings, yielding two infield singles in facing two batters over the minimum. “Our offense has come alive. Koran has been hitting great and even the guys who were hitting sub-.200 have been hitting above .400 the last week.”
Herron entered with a 0.69 ERA and has not allowed more than two runs in any start.
Joshua Sheehan had three hits and a walk from the leadoff spot for Blue tri-leader West (17-11, 8-3). DiNardo added two hits, one a double, Koran drove in three and Larry Holman had a hit and an RBI.
“It was nice to see us get some big hits,” West coach John Karczewski said. “Gersch driving in two with two outs in the first was huge. Koran’s four homers the last two weeks all came with two strikes on him. He’s seeing it good.”
“We have struggled all year offensively,” Central coach Tony Juarez said. “We’ve got to manufacture runs, but when you get behind early like that, it takes the sacrifice bunt out and even the hit-and-run when you’re putting so few people on.”
Right-hander Zach Goetschel, the first of three pitchers for Central (9-20, 2-10), suffered the loss.