Baseball: Hinsdale Central’s Matt Silk makes smooth return to field

Updated: July 18, 2012 6:12PM

Matt Silk has just one goal for Hinsdale Central during this summer league season — stay healthy.

He has earned a second chance for the Red Devils as their starting shortstop and the senior from Hinsdale is learning to savor every moment.

He could not get on the field last season at 100 percent health. Silk tried to come back from an injury to his right hamstring, but was eventually shut down for the rest of the year after trying to play against eventual Class 4A state champion Oak Park-River Forest in April.

It’s hard to say how much Silk would have helped if he was able to play his entire junior season for Hinsdale Central. The Red Devils won only 12 games and struggled in so many phases, particularly in pitching as the team tried to move on without 6-foot-4 right-hander Bobby Skogsbergh (Tommy John surgery).

Silk and Skogsbergh were forced to watch last year’s disappointing season from the sideline.

“It wasn’t easy. You go through winter workouts and you work hard all preseason,” Silk said. “To have that taken away; it was tough.”

Silk injured his hamstring during tryouts while running indoors in the school’s fieldhouse. He did physical therapy 3-4 times a week at Accelerated with a revised goal to be ready for the Illinois High School Baseball Coaches Association summer league season.

The Red Devils ended the regular season July 12 with a doubleheader at Leyden.

With the graduation of all-West Suburban Silver selection Sam Lucente, Red Devils coach Justin Cronin was willing to give Silk his shot now that there are no more signs of injury.

“We’ve got a good group,” Cronin said. “Everybody is getting a lot of opportunities.”

Hinsdale Central, the 15th seed in the Glenbard South Regional, won its first two games of the tournament, defeating Benet 3-0 and Hinsdale South 4-3 on Monday.

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