Making a pitch for excellence

  • Written by Ken Karson

Mound work looms large in Rice’s winning week

The baseball field at Immaculate Conception was an ideal setting for Brother Rice last week.
That’s because “immaculate” was also a pretty good adjective to describe the Crusaders’ pitching performances in four straight games.
How good was Rice’s mound work? Consider the following — the Crusaders’ offense collected just a baker’s dozen worth of hits over the first three contests played in Elmhurst, yet Rice went unbeaten. Then to conclude a productive week, Rice rode Ian McGinnis’ three-hit, seven-strikeout effort through six stanzas to an 11-2 rout of Aurora Central Catholic on Sunday at Plunkett Field.
The win was the Crusaders’ sixth in seven 2014 outings. Also pocketing victories on the hill last week were Mike Enriquez, freshman Ryan Kutt and Alex Alarcon, all of whom had their triumphs nailed down by strong relief hurling from Kevin Biondic.
“With good defense and great pitching, you give yourself a chance to win every game,” Rice coach John McCarthy said. “They [all] went out there and threw strikes, mixed speeds and hit the zone. It was fun to see.


A tough guy tees off on golf

Reprinted from

April 14, 2011

  Maybe Phil Donahue is to blame, or perhaps Alan Alda, although I tend to cut the latter some slack because his Hawkeye Pierce character frequently made me laugh.
  Actually, though, it’s Alda’s erstwhile television alter ego that played a significant role in shifting society’s general perception of what constitutes appropriate male behavior. During its wildly popular heyday, “M*A*S*H” showed Hawkeye evolving from an unapologetic nurse chaser to a virtual women’s-rights crusader, which might have been at least remotely possible had the Korean War begun sometime in the 1970s and lasted 11 years, like the TV program did.
  But we were asked to believe this attitudinal adjustment could have happened in less than one-third that amount of time and within an early 1950s setting. Uh-uh, don’t think so.
  Nevertheless, thanks to Hawkeye and daytime talk-show pioneer Donahue, the publicly accepted male of the past 30 years is one that critics deride as a “touchy-feely” type. Whereas anger and enjoyment once represented the full range of displayed feelings in guys, today’s gentler gentlemen are allowed — heck, encouraged — to bring to the surface whatever emotion a particular situation warrants.

Moraine athletics wrap

  • Written by Maura Vizza

Cyclones lose tennis opener before blasting Sauk Valley

Moraine Valley College won’t post an unbeaten record in tennis this season, but it has already displayed plenty of resiliency.
The 2014 campaign got underway last Thursday, but not in the manner the Cyclones hoped. While the fight was there, a win wasn’t, as Prairie State College bagged a 5-4 triumph.
Kevin Karczynski and Mike Broderick were Moraine’s ringleaders, as each player netted a match victory in singles action before joining forces to triumph at No. 1 doubles. Karczynski, Brad Smith and Broderick gave the Cyclones a clean sweep at first-, second- and third-singles.
Third-doubles was the deciding match, as Christian Lagunas rolled his ankle during it and performed at less than full strength after that. The Pioneers took advantage of Lagunas’ weakened state to capture the win.
While not making any excuses for his squad’s setback, Moraine coach Ben Thompson also refused to concede anything to the Cyclones’ conqueror.
“We will see Prairie State again,” he said. “Their coach said they got lucky, but we still have a lot of work to do.”

Softball roundup

  • Written by Anthony Nasella

Lady Bulldogs show versatility in winning week

One of the visible qualities in Richards’ 2014 softball squad, according to coach Julie Folliard, is versatility.
And that attribute manifested itself even during the Lady Bulldogs’ only opening-week loss, which Lincoln-Way Central administered by an 8-5 count last Wednesday.
Folliard made a pitching change in the fifth inning Aof that game, moving starter Sara Tobin from the circle to center field. Tobin’s presence out there was felt immediately, as she fired a strike to home plate to cut down a runner and stop a would-be score.
While it’s true that Tobin’s primary position last spring was in the middle of the outfield, she nevertheless embodies the kind of flexibility that doesn’t always show up in a box score, yet speaks volumes on the field.

Trinity sports report

  • Written by Tim Cronin

Trolls finally get on track

Maybe it should have been expected.
After two weeks without a baseball game, it took Trinity Christian College a while to get its bats unwrapped on Friday. But when the Trolls got going, they made the most of it, winning two of three in their weekend series with Holy Cross College in Notre Dame, Ind.
Trinity went hitless for four innings on Friday, then scored three times in the fifth and once more in the seventh to score a 4-3 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference victory at Four Winds Field. The Trolls then recovered well enough from a 4-0 defeat in the opener of Saturday’s doubleheader to collect a 2-1 triumph in the nightcap.
That moved Trinity to 7-9 overall and 2-1 against CCAC competition as it heads into what should be a heavy schedule of games from this point. The Trolls were slated to play doubleheaders Tuesday and Wednesday, have a pair of games at the University of St. Francis on Friday, and host the Fighting Saints again on Saturday.