Top-ranked Lions up next with WSC title on the line

Huskies slaughter for sweep

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By MICHAEL McCORMICK

The Huskies geared up for their much-anticipated doubleheader showdown against No. 1-ranked Lyons Township this weekend by trouncing another West Suburban (Silver) Conference foe, York, on Saturday.

OPRF (21-5, 12-2 WSC) found little resistance from the Dukes, out-pitching, out-hitting, and, in general, outplaying York in both games. The first game was the closer of the two, with the Huskies winning 7-1. The second game was called in the fifth inning due to the 10-run slaughter rule, with the Huskies shutting out their conference foe 10-0.

In Game 1, the Huskies let loose in the bottom of the second inning. Andrew Hagins led off the inning with a double to the wall in center field. Pitching ace Tim Dennehy, who gave up just four hits in 7 innings, next hit a soft fly ball to left field that dropped for a double, driving in Hagins. Dave Studer reached base on a bunt that moved Simon Noel, running for Dennehy, to third. After a strikeout, a walk, and a flyout, Matt McFolling hit a hard single to right field that scored both Noel and Ricky Foytik, who was running for Studer, putting the Huskies up 3-0.

In the bottom of the fifth, Hagins lined to left center for a double with one out. Dennehy then hit a fly ball to right field, which moved pinch runner Andrew Blanco to third. Studer then singled to left field, scoring Blanco and widening the Huskies lead to 4-0.

The Huskies were able to tack on three more runs in the sixth. Ty Legan started things with a single up the middle. Mike Cunningham bunted Legan to second and also reached first safely. McFolling then moved both runners up with a sacrifice bunt and Legan scored on a groundout by Ian Berger. Cunningham, who moved to third on the groundout, scored in the next at bat on a wild pitch. Bobby Fratto then doubled to the wall in left and scored on a single to right by Hagins.

York generated its only significant offense of the game in the top of the seventh with a leadoff homer to right field off a Dennehy fastball. Dennehy, however, kept his composure and finished the game by forcing a groundout and striking out two York hitters looking.

In the nightcap, the Huskies continued to dominate, scoring early and often and denying York any hope of winning. Berger was dominant in his pitching, striking out nine and giving up zero runs on five hits in five innings of work. Fratto went 4-for-4 and had three RBIs for the Huskies.

"We're starting to mesh together as a team," said Fratto of the Huskies' performance against York. "Right from the get-go, our pitchers were dominant, and that carried over to the offense and defense."

"The bench was a lot more into this game than in the Hinsdale Central's games [both of which the Huskies lost]," said Hagins. "They gave us some support that we needed."

The Huskies travel to LaGrange for a doubleheader with Lyons, who trounced Proviso West 14-0 and 21-2 on Saturday. The Lions, who are 25-1 overall and have won 19-straight games, are currently atop the WSC with a 13-1 record.

"We need to be patient against their pitchers," said Fratto of LT. "I know our pitchers are going to do a great job. It's just a matter of our offense being patient against their pitching so we can score."

Saturday's game begins at 11 a.m.

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