GLEN ELLYN — Tim Brylka has said throughout the early spring that when his Wheaton Warrenville South baseball team plays solid defense, the Tigers are tough to beat.
Proof for that came on Saturday.
Making no errors behind starting pitcher Rich O’Neil and two relievers, Wheaton Warrenville South handed Glenbard South a 9-2 loss in a non-conference matchup.
O’Neil, who was making his first appearance on the mound after returning from a wrist injury, allowed just one run in five innings of work before Connor Ostrander and Ben Bach finished up.
“Our defense was good,” Brylka said, “and Rich threw a lot of strikes. They were putting the ball in play but we picked it up. Rich works quickly and that helps keep the defense in the game.”
The Tigers took control of the contest in the top of the fourth frame when Matt Walsh contributed an RBI single, and Justin Kelly followed with a two-RBI double to make the score 5-1. Zack Moberg would add a solo homer in the fifth before Kelly drove in two more with a double in the sixth.
“They (Glenbard South) kicked the ball around a little bit,” the coach said, “and we were able to take advantage of that.
“Justin has been pretty hot for us at the plate. In RBI situations, he does a nice job.”
On Monday, Wheaton Warrenville South continued its winning ways with a 14-10 decision over West Aurora in the DuPage Valley Conference opener. Mike Saccucci had a pair of doubles and Eric Giltz hit two home runs.
Prior to the two victories, Wheaton Warrenville South lost 4-1 to Elk Grove Friday which came on the heels of a 4-2 win over St. Francis.
“We are in games which is good,” Brylka said. “Against Elk Grove, they had some timely hits and we didn’t. We had seven hits but not when we needed them.”
The Tigers were set to contined their series with West Aurora on Tuesday and Wednesday (weather permitting) before playing Waubonsie Valley on Saturday.
“We’ve got some hitters and we can run the bases,” Brylka said. “If we can play decent defense and throw strikes, we have a chance at least in every game.”