CAROL STREAM — For much of the season, Glenbard East baseball has been one or two plays away from reaching its potential, but Nick Vichio is still doing his thing for the Rams.
The St. Louis University-bound senior has been a key player for East as a key cog in the middle of the lineup as well as the ace of the pitching staff.
His talent and the experience coming back from a 21-win team last season is what provided high hopes for the Rams this year. It hasn’t worked out as planned so far though.
Wednesday’s 3-2 walk-off loss to Glenbard North dropped the Rams to 5-15 and 1-7 in the DuPage Valley Conference entering Thursday’s makeup game against Wheaton North.
“We’re definitely not playing up to our potential,” Vichio said. “Sometimes we don’t have the offense, sometimes we don’t have the defense, some days we don’t have the pitching,”
Vichio had an RBI single Wednesday and took a no-hitter into the fifth in a 6-1 loss to Wheaton North on Monday. Vichio had nine strikes outs and no walks in six innings.
Amid the frustration, the standout Ram has been one of the bright spots this season.
“He’s been big for us,” said East coach Joel Pelland. “He’s been throwing well for us. He’s been a guy, like with most of our pitchers, when he’s on the mound, we’ve got a shot. He gave us that chance on Monday by giving us that performance. At the plate he’s been solid.”
Vichio bats in the No. 3 hole for the Rams, but likely won’t have the opportunity to hit at the next level for St. Louis.
“I’m gonna pitch there, but I’m definitely going to miss hitting,” Vichio said.
The Billikens spotted him at the Stevenson Showcase. His go-to fastball and self-described improved change-up helped impress the coaching staff.
After visiting the campus and learning about the school’s sports business program, he was sold.
Before Vichio thinks about facing Division I batters, he wants the Rams to get back on track for the playoffs.
“I’d still be worried (to face us) come playoff time,” he said. “I think we just need to put it all together.”