ELMHURST – Expected to have a strong offense in 2014, York’s baseball team has struggled at times in that area this spring.
But that all changed over the weekend, as the Dukes’ bats propelled the squad into the thick of the West Suburban Silver race.
Scoring six runs in the first inning of its series-opening game against Glenbard West on May 2, York went on to a post a 10-0 win in five innings and then backed that up with a 13-3 decision Saturday.
“I don’t know what it is,” York coach Dave Kalal said. “It’s baseball. I said to the kids, just keep working at it, keep working at it. Sometimes things will go your way and sometimes they won’t.
“Eleven of our games have been one-run games. We have been in games but we haven’t been able to come up with the big hit. Those two games, we were unleashing.”
The Dukes completed the sweep of the Hilltoppers with a 3-1 win Monday as they improved to 7-5 in league play. West had entered the series at the top of the WSS race with only two defeats.
With two weekends left in conference play, York is tied with three other teams, Glenbard West, Lyons Township and Hinsdale Central, at 7-5. Oak Park-River Forest (9-6) and Downers Grove North (8-7) are also in the race with one fewer series to play.
“The conference race is wide open,” Kalal said. “Everyone is tight at the top with five, six losses. It is anyone’s conference right now, at this point, it’s who wants it more. Our conference is really balanced this year and that’s nice to see.”
Jack Polte, Seth Dvorak and Mitch Miner all had two hits apiece in the first game against Glenbard West while Alex Pedote allowed just one hit in five innings of work.
“Alex has been lights out for us this year,” the coach said. “He has had four or five appearances in relief and starting, and his last two or three have been phenomenal.”
A six-run third inning proved to be the difference on Saturday. Anthony Santos went 4-for-4 with four RBIs and he also recorded the win on the mound, allowing two earned runs while striking out seven. The senior’s streak of 21 consecutive scoreless innings ended in the second frame.
Kyle Coughlin went 3-for-3 with three runs scored and Nolan Spencer, Polte, Mike Homan and Phil Schlitter each had multiple hits.
It was Seth Dvorak’s time to shine on Monday as the senior gave up seven hits and one earned run in a complete-game effort. He added three hits at the plate and scored two runs as York improved to 11-11 overall.
West Suburban Silver standings
Team, record, upcoming series
OPRF, 9-6, Hinsdale Central, bye
York, 7-5, Proviso West, Hinsdale Central
Lyons, 7-5, Glenbard West, Proviso West
Glenbard W., 7-5, Lyons Township, Downers Grove North
Hinsdale C., 7-5 ,Oak Park-River Forest, York
Downers Grove N., 8-7 bye, Glenbard West