Lengthy layoff ends
Photos by Patti Wilk
KHS baseball team faces full conference schedule
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—It was familiar territory for Kaneland baseball, trying to tee off against Sycamore, DeKalb and Yorkville pitching.
The Knights had varying degrees of success as the calendar left April.
On Tuesday, Kaneland fell in a tough pitcher’s duel to Sycamore, 2-1. Monday had a home matchup with Sycamore that resulted in a 7-3 loss. On Saturday, a makeup contest with DeKalb ended in a 4-0 win and 4-1 loss in Maple Park. On Friday, Kaneland beat host Yorkville 3-2 and lost 6-3 on April 24.
Kaneland’s Matt Limbrunner took the loss on the mound, pitching five innings while surrendering two runs and six hits and collecting five strikeouts. He also went 1-for-3 from the plate with a solo home run.
Against the Spartans on Monday, Blake Sowell was tagged with the loss. Down 4-0, Kaneland scored three in the sixth, but could get no closer. Limbrunner contributed an RBI.
In the positive end of the Saturday split, Kaneland put up two in the first and two in the fourth for the shortened victory. Nick Albano had an RBI, while Kevin Kassinger took the win. The loss featured Kaneland tying the game in the sixth inning off of a Limbrunner RBI, but DeKalb put up three in the top of the seventh for the win. John Hopkins took the loss in relief.
On Thursday, the Knights fell behind 6-0 before posting one in the fourth and two in the sixth. Lane Davis and Joe Komel (two RBI) supplied the run-driving capabilities, while Limbrunner took the loss.
In the April 24 loss, the Knights were plagued by four errors in the field and a difficult strike zone to manage. Tyler Carlson supplied the only hit in the top of the third, while Yorkville scored one in the second, one in the third and two in the fifth to cinch matters.
Sowell was tagged with the loss, while the Foxes’ Kyle Shimp mowed the lineup down with 12 strikeouts.
The last real opportunity to score for KHS was in the top of the fifth when Ty Bellock reached on an error and stole second, but two strikeouts and a grounder to second ended the rally.
It marked the first game after a weather-induced layoff for the Knights, but Aversa knew a bounceback was necessary.
“I wasn’t disappointed in our pitching performance at all,” Aversa said.
“Offensively, we’ve got a lot of stuff to work on, defensively same thing. There were dropped balls and a couple anomalies. We’ve got to shake some rust off.”
The Knights, with a 7-11 overall record and 4-5 mark in conference play, host Sycamore on Thursday, May 2.