Baseball: Jake Bartels leads Nazareth into supersectionals with bat, arm
Updated: June 2, 2012 8:11PM
Nazareth sophomore pitcher Jake Bartels drove in four runs and held St. Joseph hitters in check to lead the Roadrunners to a 7-4 victory in the Class 3A Glenbard South Sectional Saturday.
Bartels got Nazareth (29-9) off to a good start with a two-run single in the first inning to stake his team to a 2-0 advantage. His RBI ground out in the third made the score 3-0 and his double in the fifth knocked in battery mate Mike Stromberg (1-for-2, walk, hit by pitch, two runs) during a four-run fifth that put the Roadrunners ahead 7-2.
Bartels pitched 6 1/3 innings before he was replaced by Kyle Piotrowski when St. Joseph mounted a seventh-inning rally. Piotrowski came in with the bases loaded and a run in and struck out the first batter he faced. He then hit Chargers catcher Danny Barron in the head with a pitch to make it 7-4 with the bags still full and two outs.
St. Joseph first baseman Brian Powers (2-for-4) hit a sharp grounder in the hole that appeared to be headed to left field for a hit, but sophomore shortstop Tim DalPorto backhanded the ball and threw out Powers at first on a spectacular play to end the game.
Bartels (eight hits, three walks, six strikeouts), who plays first base when he’s not pitching, was happy he could contribute with his arm and his bat.
“I think I’m definitely more satisfied with my pitching today,” Bartels said. “My last outing against Joliet Catholic I kind of got hit around a little bit, so it was nice to come out here today and have a solid outing. My defense also was able to pick me up, so I think it was more satisfying than the hitting to be able to bounce back on the mound.
“As for the hitting, the last few games I have really been seeing the ball well, putting some good stick on it, and I have the coaching staff to thank for that. They helped me tweek a few things at the plate and it really helped me improve my hitting.”
Assistant coach John Sime said he has never been around a player quite like Bartels.
“This is one of the toughest kids I’ve coached and I’ve been coaching for 45 years, so that says a lot,” Sime said. “His approach at the plate was fantastic today and he pitched his heart out. Our hitting in the clutch was what pulled us through today. Nobody expected us to be where we are now because of all the players we lost last year. These kids have worked very hard, they’re focused and it has paid off.”
Sean Maloney doubled and scored three times for the Roadrunners, while Ryan Marske was 2-for-3 with a run. Pinch-hitter Timothy Getty drove home two big runs in the fifth with a single.
Trayvon Johnson had two hits and scored for St. Joseph (25-14), and Mike Pagliuco knocked in a run with a pinch-hit double in the fourth.
“They (Nazareth) got a lot of clutch hits early and we couldn’t get any until the last inning,” St. Joseph head coach Jay Meath said. “We showed a lot of heart at the end, but their kid made a great play, and that’s how it goes.”