CAROL STREAM – Eric Orze has had two high quality mentors in Matt Frawley and Matt Albin.
Now the Glenbard North junior is doing his best to emulate them on the mound.
On Wednesday, Orze continued his breakout campaign by tossing a complete game in leading the Panthers to a 7-3 win against Glenbard East. The right-hander has now allowed 6 runs in three DuPage Valley Conference starts spanning 21 innings.
“I’m trying to follow in the footsteps of our captain, Matt Albin, and Matt Frawley, who is now at Purdue,” Orze said. “They really emphasized getting ahead of guys and letting the defense work.”
Orze did just that as he did not yield a single walk. A four-run third inning, highlighted by a two-run double by Albin and a two-out, two-run single by Alex Barrett, provided plenty of offensive support.
A sacrifice fly off the bat of Nolan Jasinski in the fourth and a two-run triple by Luke Greenberg an inning later rounded out the scoring.
“Albin came through and got us on the board with that double to right center,” Glenbard North coach Rick Smelko said. “And then Alex picked him up two batters later. It was good to see guys in the middle of our order getting those hits.”
Following Albin in the rotation suits Orze just fine.
“It’s great, you kind of catch teams on the downside a little bit after Matt throws against them,” the junior said. “He’s great to learn from. And when he pitches, I’m catching and we can both feel the hitters out. He’s a great teammate and a great captain.”
Albin was at his best Saturday as the senior struck out 13 as Glenbard North took the series opener against the Rams by a 6-1 margin.
The staff ace allowed just two hits while walking a pair in six innings. He also helped himself at the plate with a 3-for-3 performance which included four RBIs.
“He has always been really good,” Smelko said of Albin. “Even his sophomore year, he was very good but sometimes we didn’t score enough runs or didn’t play defense behind him. This is a big year for him. We know that he is very good and that if he stays healthy, he can be dominant at times.”
Nolan Jasinski went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and Jim Krippinger contributed a double and two runs scored.
The Panthers concluded a suspended game against Lake Park on April 24, losing 3-2 in 10 innings.
Glenbard North 7
Glenbard East 3
Glenbard North top performers
1. Eric Orze: 7 IP, 7 H, 6 K
2. Matt Albin: 2-for-4, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBIs
3. Alex Barrett: 1-for-3, 2 RBIs
4. Luke Greenberg: 1-for-3, 3B, 2 RBI