Baseball: Lincoln-Way Central deals Joliet West hopes a blow
You can look at the late-season Lincoln-Way Central baseball team as the SouthWest Suburban Blue spoilers.
Or, perhaps the Knights are becoming one of this area’s most dangerous teams as the postseason nears.
Central continued shaking up the already dizzying SWS Blue title chase Monday with a solid 6-1 victory at former sole leader Joliet West. The Tigers (17-12, 8-4) return to sharing the top spot with Lockport and Sandburg. Last Friday, Central (16-12, 6-6) beat Lockport 2-1.
“They did a great job defensively,” West coach John Karczewski said of the Knights. “They’ve been through some struggles, but they have some tough kids over there.”
Knights left-hander Grant Bartell (3-3) allowed a run in the second inning when he encountered wildness. Otherwise, he never faced more than four batters in any of the six innings he worked.
When he needed defense, second baseman Austin Korbel, shortstop Jack Krull and left fielder Matt Filkins delivered. Bartell helped himself when he snagged Alex Lakotas’ line drive and turned it into a double play with two on and one out in the sixth.
“We hit the ball hard, but they made the plays,” said Karczewski, whose team concludes the SWS Blue race with two games this week against Bolingbrook.
“I couldn’t ask for any more support,” Bartell said. “It’s nice to see the bats coming around, too. We are starting to play how we should.”
“Pitching and defense and enough offense, that’s what it takes,” Bieterman said. “We have a nice pitching staff top to bottom, but we have to make things more comfortable for them than we have been doing.”
The Knights, who were errorless, totaled 10 hits with Bartell, Krull and Korbel getting two. Greg Wymer, the usual No. 3 hitter, pinch-hit in the seventh, his first action since injuring his back three weeks ago, and homered on the first pitch.
Losing pitcher Anthony DiNardo (3-4) had two hits for West.