Savoring a split decision

  • Written by Ken Karrson

Fabrizio’s boost gives RedHawks win over JCA

  Who says coaches can’t really impact games?
  Typically, that’s probably true, but there are exceptions. One of those occurred Saturday in Game 2 of an East Suburban Catholic Conference doubleheader between Marist and Joliet Catholic Academy.
  The Hilltoppers, who had taken the twinbill opener by a 6-1 score, were leading 2-0 in the second contest when the RedHawks appeared to break through in the sixth inning on John Carmody’s sacrifice fly. But another Marist runner was ruled to have departed second base prematurely and then called out when JCA threw back to the bag.
  Having already seen his club denied an earlier run when a RedHawk was called out at home despite kicking the ball loose from the catcher’s glove, Marist coach Tom Fabrizio wasn’t about to let this latest controversy pass without a confrontation.
  After telling the umpire involved with the play, “You cost us two runs,” and then getting him to confer with the other ump, Fabrizio was rewarded for his diligence. Carmody’s fly ball was indeed a run producer, and the RedHawks went on to tie the game on Barrett Callaghan’s single.
  Then in the seventh, sophomore Tommy Finwall broke the deadlock with a homer. Pitcher Rich Kairis protected that newly gained lead in the bottom of the stanza, and Marist was able to earn a split for the day with a 3-2 victory.

Aces give Eagles winning hand

  • Written by Ken Karrson

Pitchers Pall, Leland, Dietz all excelling for Sandburg

A poker player holding three aces is apt to drive the stakes higher, so confident is he of winning the pot.
A baseball coach with three aces on his staff finds himself in a similarly favorable circumstance. He, too, knows he possesses a winning hand far more often than not, and in the coach’s case there’s not even any real gamble involved.
Such is the situation enjoyed by Sandburg boss Jim Morsovillo these days. While his Eagles aren’t perfect in 2014, they’re in awfully good shape, thanks to the presence of pitchers Bryan Pall, Sean Leland and Matthias Dietz.
All three hurlers have been early season standouts whose statistics almost defy description. Only Dietz has an earned-run average as high as 1.00, and he has a 7-to-1 strikeouts-to-walks ratio over 28 innings. One of his wins this spring was a no-hitter over Oak Lawn.
The University of Michigan-bound Pall and Louisville University-bound Leland have been just as instrumental in getting Sandburg off to a 9-4 start. Each pitcher’s innings total exceeds the number of hits he has given up thus far and both sport ERAs below one. Pall has fanned 30 batters and walked only three in 17 innings of work.
“Pitching-wise, this is the best overall staff we’ve had in about 10 years — and maybe ever,” Eagles assistant coach Chuck Peters said. “We have three horses who can go seven innings. Each one of them consistently throws 87 or 88 miles an hour and they pound the strike zone.


Hurts so dumb


(Reprinted from Jan. 22, 2009)

  Any of us whose personalities contain at least a drop of decency tend to refrain from laughing at another person’s misfortune.
  But sometimes it’s difficult. That’s especially true when the individual involved is some rough-guy jock, whose entire career is built upon the premise of physical superiority in comparison to the geeky fans who worship him.
  However, not all maladies are created equal. On-the-job injuries can actually enhance an athlete’s toughness quotient. Case in point: Joe Theismann.
  The former Washington Redskins and Notre Dame quarterback often gets bad-rapped because he appears guilty of a bit more self-adoration than is generally considered acceptable. No question, Theismann has a runaway ego, but no one can ever question his grit after the brutal hit once put on him by New York Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor in a Monday night game many years ago.
  Theismann’s leg got bent in a direction a human limb is not designed to go, and the snapping of the bone was allegedly audible. Even the most hardened football fanatics were sickened by the sight and sound, which included Theismann screaming in pain. No one mocked him for that, though, knowing the post-injury reaction likely would have been the same for anyone else put in that position.

Softball roundup

  • Written by Anthony Nasella

Lady Eagles ride the roller coaster

  In a 35-game softball season, almost every team can expect to experience a roller-coaster ride somewhere along the way.
  It was Sandburg’s turn to hop aboard last week, as both highs and lows were included in the mix. On the plus side was an 8-3 SouthWest Suburban Conference Blue win over Homewood-Flossmoor last Wednesday, a success made possible through the batting heroics of Sarah Herold and Emily Griskell.
  Both Lady Eagles peppered H-F with three hits and the duo was also responsible for half of Sandburg’s runs. Herold scored two of them herself, while Griskell drove in a pair.
  Seven of the Lady Eagles’ runs were generated in two-out situations, beginning in the third inning when the locals plated four markers. A Lady Vikings error gave Sandburg some juice, and Griskell and Lauren McCaughey soon collected RBI.
  Karli McLaughlin added another RBI a bit later and H-F provided further assistance with more shaky fielding, which led to two more runs.
  That was more than enough scoring support for Griskell, who earned the pitching victory after throwing the first 4 1/3 innings. Herold mopped up, and the two hurlers finished the day with a combined 12 strikeouts.

Presenting the late show

  • Written by Ken Karrson

Crusaders wait before piling up more wins

  Forget all you’ve ever heard about the early bird.
  Brother Rice has grown to love being fashionably late when it comes to scoring its most important runs. And the waiting has proved worth it.
  In all four of their outings last week, the Crusaders collected markers during their final at-bat. On two of those occasions, the runs provided the margin of victory.
  With four more wins to its credit, Rice stretched its unbeaten streak to eight games. This latest quartet of successes came at the expense of fellow Chicago Catholic League members, including De La Salle, which dropped a 4-0 decision on Saturday.
  Making the conquest of the Meteors significant was that De La Salle was only two days removed from its own 4-0 win over defending Catholic League Blue champ St. Laurence.
  Pitcher Brian Musielak kept the Meteors off the scoreboard despite getting nicked for nine hits. De La Salle actually outhit the Crusaders (15-3, 4-0) by one, but the latter registered half of their eight safeties in the bottom of the sixth to give themselves some breathing room.