RIVERSIDE – If early results are any indication, Riverside Brookfield baseball has learned from last year’s mistakes.
The Bulldogs beat eventual Metro Suburban Conference champion Glenbard South two out of three games early last season, but slipped up against teams lower in the standings to fall behind the Raiders.
RB swept its first three MSC opponents – Illiana Christian, Timothy Christian and Ridgewood – to enter the big series against the Raiders with a 9-0 record. South entered 8-1 with a loss to Elmwood Park, the only blemish.
“We’re really happy with the record,” RB coach Dallas Till said. “We have a really big week this week. We have the Glenbard series. This is gut-check week. We have one more week before the sectional seeding.
“Although we’re happy with where we’re at, we know we haven’t accomplished anything yet.”
The series was scheduled to start Tuesday with RB hosting the first two games (Tuesday and Wednesday) before heading to Glen Ellyn Thursday.
Last week’s sweep of Timothy Christian wasn’t always easy. After winning Game 1 5-1 on April 22, the Bulldogs needed extra innings in Game 2. Luke Keller drilled a two-run double in the top of the ninth and RB won, 6-3.
C.J. Duffek starred in the high-scoring finale. The senior center fielder was 3-for-4 with a home run, three RBIs, three runs scored and a pair of stolen bases in a 15-11 Bulldog win.
On Saturday, RB swept Ridgewood, 7-0 and 6-,1 in a doubleheader of makeup games. Will Kincanon and Kevin Garvey dominated on the mound in the two wins. Kincanon pitched a three-hit shutout and Garvey gave up one run in six innings.
“It seems like somebody always seems to step up and it’s always somebody different,” Till said. “We’re getting a lot of contributions from a lot of different people.”
After taking care of business in games RB was expected to win, the Bulldogs have shifted their focus to the pivotal series against Glenbard South.
“They’re excited about it,” Till said. “They know what’s at stake. We know we’ve got to at least take two out of three to have a chance.”