OPRF baseball has smashing time in Florida

Team belts 14 homers in first three games


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By Brad Spencer

Sports Editor

A trip south to the sunshine state has apparently done the OPRF baseball team some good. The Huskies went 4-1 in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and made it to the Hall of Fame Spring Classic title game where they fell to hometown team Flagler Palm 12-7.

But OPRF was the talk of the town, setting a new tournament record with 14 homers in three games. The Huskies opened the tourney by pummeling two-time state title winners First Baptist of South Carolina 15-0. Zack Weigel, who led all batters in the tournament by going 11-for-15, led the onslaught by driving in four runs off a double and homer. Tim Sutton had a three-run blast that drove in three runs for the Huskies, while Alec Jeffries went 3-for-4 with three RBIs, including a two-run homer. Nick Kowalczuk (2-for-4) also had a two-run blast.

Will Polley earned the victory on the mound by allowing just three hits in four innings. He struck out five.

OPRF's bats didn't let up in the second round, and the howling wind aided their efforts at the plate. Down 12-2 after three innings to South Fork of Stewart, Fla., the Huskies came back to secure a 16-14 victory.

Two-year starter Jack Picchiotti (3-for-5) hit two homers in the win, including a grand slam. He finished with five RBIs. PJ Brennan nearly hit for the cycle, finishing with a single, double and two-run homer. Ryan Kurtzer had two singles and a three-run dinger.

"This has been a great experience for these guys," said OPRF head coach Chris Ledbetter. "We've had some uncharacteristic errors, but overall we've played well to start the season."

In a precursor to the title game match-up, the Huskies edged Flagler Palm 10-9 in the third round. OPRF committed seven errors — six of which were throwing mishaps — but hit six homers in the game. Weigel (3-for-3), Sutton (1-for-3), Jeffries (1-for-3), Frank Picchiotti (1-for-3) and Brennan (2 HRs) all went long for the Huskies.

In a non-tournament game, OPRF downed University School at Nova (Fla.) 4-3.

The Huskies were scheduled to begin West Suburban (Silver) Conference play against York this week.

Email: bspencer@oakpark.com Twitter: OakParkSports

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Baseball Player  

Posted: April 5th, 2011 7:02 PM

That is two many errors. But early in the season, errors are expected. The fact that they are scoring a lot of runs his early is impressive. Because that is rarely the case that the teams bats are hot to start the year.

Baseball Observer  

Posted: April 5th, 2011 10:40 AM

That many errors is unacceptable at this level regardless how big the sticks are. The high scores of the other games won imply even more errors then what was reported here. Ultimately it's good defense and pitching that wins games. You wouldn't have to pray for the bats To bail themselves out of the hole otherwise. Seems this team needs to find away to balance errors versus runs needed to dig out or stay ahead. Although i am not sure of the potential error count for mondays game, The 14-0 slaughter by York just might be an indication of extreme inconsistency with the bats, as well as extreme consistency where errors are concerned. I guess its up to the coaches to choose their poison, but It may be to early to tell, but, %uFFFDit is what it is today.

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