Living in the past

  • Written by Ken Karson

Knights’ productive offense crushes Momence

Chicago Christian revisited its past on Saturday, much to coach Eric Brauer’s delight.
Not only were things the way they used to be, but more importantly, the way they ought to be.
At least that was Brauer’s viewpoint in the aftermath of his squad’s 12-0 demolition of Momence. What pleased him most wasn’t the run total itself, but how the Knights went about collecting their markers.
Christian stroked 10 hits and received six free passes, meaning that it brought 75 percent of its baserunners all the way around to the plate. That high success rate was a common occurrence for the Knights in 2013 and, according to Brauer, “how we pieced together 30 wins.”
“You capitalize as often as you can,” he said. “We did a better job of that [here].
“We’ve scored a lot of two-out runs [so far in 2014], but we’ve left a ton of guys on base [before this]. If you’re constantly leaving guys on base, it takes its toll.”
In this instance, the toll was taken on the Redskins, who lost in just 4 ½ innings at the Ray Kroc Center. Christian’s third game of the week at that Chicago-based site featured the locals scoring multiple runs in each of their four at-bats, with four-run eruptions in both the third and fourth innings representing the apexes.
Interestingly, five of the Knights’ RBI were accrued without benefit of a hit. Josh Novak lofted a sacrifice fly, Drew Van Buren and Pat McCarthy each drove in a run with a groundout, and Christian Bolhuis (walk) and Mike Santarelli (hit by pitch) got aboard while the bases were filled.

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.