Bulldogs bounce back from defeat to win twice
Losing a game is much different than losing one’s bearings.
But when winning has become commonplace, even a lone setback can have dire psychological consequences. Thus, after Richards absorbed just its second defeat over a span of 16 games last Monday, Bulldogs assistant coach Kevin Quinn had a message for the players.
“He said, ‘Don’t lose two in a row this year,’” Richards boss Brian Wujcik said.
And the Bulldogs proceeded to heed that advice. Not only did they gain revenge on South Suburban Conference Red rival Reavis by answering Monday’s 7-1 loss with an 8-4 victory for themselves, but the locals also went on to hammer Lincoln-Way East 12-3 on Thursday.
“We are [still] playing with confidence,” Wujcik said. “The guys all understand we’re not Murderer’s Row, but we are efficient hitters and we can manufacture [good scoring] innings.”
Ironically, that was the missing ingredient in the first matchup against the Rams. Reavis lefty Bibal Abuzir limited normally potent Richards to eight singles and an unearned run.
The Bulldogs took advantage of a bad pickoff throw to set up their only score in the third inning. AJ Sanchez (RBI) and Eric Mallo wrapped singles around that Rams miscue.
“We got beat by a guy who pitched a really good game,” Wujcik said. “We’ve been pretty accustomed to double-digit hits, and often double-digit runs, but nobody’s going to roll over for us.
“There was a little bit of emotion lacking from our guys in this game. I know it’s clichéd, but you’ve got to come out and play hard every day.”
Reavis broke the contest open by tallying five runs in its portion of the fourth, a rally that was helped along by a walk and hit batsman. Ryan Thompson got tagged with his first pitching loss after notching four consecutive wins.