ELMHURST – On a day where many local baseball teams were stuck on the sidelines due to wet conditions, the IC Catholic Prep squad didn’t have that problem with its turf field.
The end result was a split decision for the Knights, who earned their 10th win of the spring on Tuesday with the completion of a suspended game before falling short in the nightcap.
Beginning its two-game series against Aurora Central Catholic on Monday, IC led 9-7 after four innings before a downpour ended action. The Knights closed out the contest 24 hours later, plating a pair of runs in the fifth in the eventual 11-8 win.
John Hoffman pitched all three innings on Tuesday, stranding the bases loaded in the seventh. Griffen Eichhorn had two hits and two RBIs and Brendan Russ also had a pair of hits.
“Coming back (the next day) is always hard,” IC coach Frank DeAngelis said, “but they came in with the same attitude (as the day before). They carried over what they had done and finished strong.”
Game two was a pitcher’s duel, with Knights starter Austin Reed tossing a complete-game in the 4-2 loss to the Chargers. IC scored on an RBI triple by CJ West in the third and a wild pitch in the six and then filled the bases in the seventh before a strikeout ended it.
“We certainly got a good enough outing from Austin,” DeAngelis said. “We just shot ourselves in the foot with little things. But overall, we are playing better baseball. We’ve started scoring runs, we are putting the ball in play. And hopefully come the regional, we will be able to scratch even more runs across.”
Close losses have been a theme this season, with IC dropping six games by a single run.
“We have to remain focused for the entire seven innings,” DeAngelis said. “We have to get over that hump. When we do that, we string together good at-bats and it carries over to the field and the mound.
“On paper, we have a good skill set and ability. Our guys one through nine can get it done and the guys on the bench are more than capable. We just have to put things together for seven innings. That is why we have lost some of those close games.”
Also on Tuesday, IC received the No. 4 seed in their Class 2A subsectional. St. Joseph was awarded the top seed followed by Westmont and Timothy Christian. The Knights have already played St. Joe’s and Westmont this season, losing to the latter by one run.
“We’ve been saying it since day one,” the coach added. “It is a process. We have to trust the process and continue to get better.”