Community sports news

Water polo athletes honor Caliendo

Members of the boys’ water polo teams at Sandburg and Andrew honored Jane Caliendo by wearing Warrior T-shirts created to support her battle with cancer during a match last week.
Caliendo is the wife of Eagles coach Jim Caliendo and has been involved herself with Sandburg’s swimming and water polo programs in the past. Eagles athletes have sold T-shirts and wristbands to raise money, and also performed charitable acts on the Caliendos’ behalf.

Palos Hills to host Pitch, Hit & Run competition
The Palos Hills Community Resource and Recreation Department will host a Pitch, Hit & Run competition for youngsters aged 7-14 on Wednesday from 2-4 p.m. at Glacier Park, 101st Street and 78th Avenue.
Participation is free. Registration is being accepted at the Palos Hills Community Center, 8455 W. 103rd St.
For more information, call 430-4500.

Goose egg turns golden

  • Written by Ken Karrson

After shutout loss, Vikings get back to business

Two days after getting hit with a string of goose eggs, St. Laurence cooked that goose.
The Vikings’ high-powered offense has often seemed unstoppable this spring, but De La Salle found a way to grind it to a halt last Thursday. Behind pitcher Ivan Guzman, the Meteors stunned St. Laurence — and probably a number of prep baseball fans — by notching a 4-0 shutout in a Chicago Catholic League crossover matchup.
The loss came right after the Vikings had crushed both St. Ignatius (12-0) and Fenwick (15-0) in two other league clashes, which simply added to its shocking nature.
“We’ve been playing a month and generating a lot of runs, but we told our guys, ‘It really isn’t going to be this easy all the time,’” St. Laurence coach Pete Lotus said. “I think not being in [many] close games hurt us on Thursday.”

Valpo means victory

  • Written by Ken Karrson

Knights remain unbeaten at college site

Chicago Christian ballplayers will go their separate ways after graduating high school, off to whichever colleges best fit their personal scholastic needs.
For those individuals who plan on staying involved with baseball at the next level, Valparaiso University might be a popular choice.
For sure, the Knights have enjoyed nothing but good luck on their annual pilgrimage to the Indiana school, a trip Christian coach Eric Brauer has arranged in each of his six seasons at the helm. That wasn’t the start of Brauer’s return to his collegiate alma mater, however — he also took his Michigan City Marquette team there on three occasions.
But while Marquette didn’t fare so well, the Knights certainly have. On Saturday, they racked up their sixth and seventh wins in a row at Valpo by capturing both ends of a doubleheader against Beecher.

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.