Offensive punch gives Bulldogs winning week
Richards not only carried big sticks last week, but it put them to good use more often than not.
Early in a baseball season, pitchers are supposed to be ahead of hitters in terms of settling into a groove. And when outdoor practices have pretty much been nonexistent due to cold temperatures and soggy fields, the theory would seem to be especially applicable.
The Bulldogs, however, never received that news.
“We’re living proof of the opposite,” Richards coach Brian Wujcik said. “We’re struggling to throw strikes, but luckily, we’ve been able to outslug a few teams. In our first five games, we’re swinging the bats pretty well — we got a double-digit number of hits in three of those.”
And in each instance, that resulted in a Bulldogs victory. Richards downed Harlan 9-5 last Monday, then added decisions over Mt. Carmel (16-15 in eight innings) and Stagg (14-4 in six innings) on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
The Bulldogs also dropped two verdicts, as Sandburg (13-1 in five innings) and De La Salle (6-5) got the better of them in Tuesday and Wednesday clashes.
“We’ve got work to do,” Wujcik said. “We can hit with anybody, but if we allow teams to hang around because we don’t throw strikes, we can get burned by anybody.”
The most vivid example of Richards’ uncertainty on the hill occurred Saturday, when it was unable to maintain a 9-0 lead gained on the Caravan within the first two frames. Not only did Mt. Carmel eventually erase that large deficit, it inched ahead in the top of the eighth with a solo homer.
Kyle Garrett’s single and a walk to Eric Mallo began the Bulldogs’ portion of the eighth, but they were down to their last out before Shawn Chiaramonte saved the day with his game-winning two-RBI double.