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Pitching powers North baseball to 3-1 start

WHEATON — Pitching was a concern for the Wheaton North baseball team coming into the 2013 season, not because of a lack of arms but more so a lack of experience.

But through the first week of game action, the Falcon’s pitching staff is looking like a group of veterans.

Wheaton North won three of its first four games and in those victories, the team allowed just a combined four runs.

Coming off a 2-1 record in their trip to Tennessee, the Falcons beat Glenbrook South 9-3 on Saturday behind six innings of work from Lake Bachar, who struck out five while walking nobody. Ryan Kent paced the offense with a 4-for-4 performance at the plate.

“Lake beat a very good team on Saturday in Glenbrook South,” said Wheaton North coach Dan Schoessling. “They have a pretty good line-up. He was hitting his spots. He did a really nice job.

“Saturday was probably our best game (so far). Offensively, we had 13 hits so that was good and we fielded the ball well for the most part. It was a really good overall game.”

In Tennessee, the Falcons began their trip with a 6-5 loss to Franklin on March 26. The squad bounced back the next day with a 3-1 victory over Ensworth as Tom Colletti notched the win with four innings of work before defeating Overton 6-0 on Thursday. Doug Hayes worked six innings in that affair.

“It was a good trip,” the coach said. “We faced three really good teams and came out with a 2-1 record. We saw some decent pitching so that’s good. It was a good start for us.”

Wheaton North was to resume action with games against Elk Grove and York on Tuesday and Wednesday before taking on St. Viator on Thursday and Lemont Saturday. DuPage Valley Conference action kicks off Monday with a matchup against Naperville North.

“I think our non-conference schedule is shaping up to be real good,” Schoessling said. “We will definitely see some more good arms this week. And I know Naperville North is good; they can always hit the ball and they are well coached. They will be a good opening series for us.

“I think the players like to be playing every day or every other day. It helps with their overall game and it helps them get in a rhythm.”

Wheaton Warrenville South

The Tigers’ trip to St. Louis early last week was cancelled due to snow but not all was lost as Wheaton Warrenville South got to play on a pair of turf fields instead.

The squad opened the 2013 campaign with a 4-3 loss to Batavia March 26 at the Lee Pfund Stadium at Legion Field in Carol Stream before defeating Hinsdale South 6-4 the next day at North Park University behind winning pitcher Connor Ostrander.

“It was cool,” Wheaton Warrenville South coach Tim Brylka said of playing on turf. “The kids thought it was pretty neat. Obviously, you get some true hops there.

“They were looking forward to going to St. Louis. It’s always a good time getting away so that was kind of a bummer. But they had good attitudes and we tried to make it fun for them around here.”

The Tigers went on to beat Hersey 7-1 Thursday as Brett Struebing notched the win on the mound before dropping a 17-7 decision to Benet Monday.

“We’ve been inconsistent,” the coach said. “The biggest thing, we need to be more consistent in all phases: on the mound, at the plate, in the field and even on the bases. Against Hersey, we had three or four base-running errors.

“We need to stop putting ourselves in holes and making it harder on ourselves. If we do the routine things and make the routine plays, we will be OK.”

Wheaton Warrenville South is in the midst of a busy week which included matchups against Deerfield on Tuesday and St. Francis on Wednesday. Games with Elk Grove and Glenbard South are scheduled for Friday and Saturday before the Tigers open DuPage Valley Conference play Monday against West Aurora.

“That’s the thing,” Brylka said, “you can practice stuff and practice stuff but you need to be in game situations, getting at-bats and such. We have a chance to get a ton of games in this week and they should get us more tuned up.”

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