After the OPRF baseball team was routed by Lyons Township in a doubleheader two weeks ago, head coach Chris Ledbetter lambasted his players for lack of support. The team turned around and edged Lyons Township in the final game of the series. But now another problem has crept up and Ledbetter wants it too squashed immediately.
When the Huskies crushed Downers Grove North 11-2 in Game 1 of a doubleheader on Saturday, Ledbetter said, certain players who didn’t perform well took their disgust into Game 2, and the result was a disappointing 5-3 loss.
“A team can’t function when players are hanging their heads because they didn’t perform well on an individual basis. It’s just being selfish and that’s not what this program is about,” said Ledbetter. “You have to be a team player or I’ll find someone else to fill the position. It’s as simple as that.”
Neil Mejia improved his record to 3-1 by giving up just two hits in five innings of the opener. Mejia fanned six, while Andrew Hagins anchored the Huskies at the plate. Hagins finished the game with three hits in four appearances, including a two-run homer. Dave Studer also had three hits for OPRF in the opener.
The Huskies, who crushed Hinsdale South 9-1 Thursday, gave up three unearned runs in Game 2 against Downers North?#34;all of which came with two outs.
A late-game rally was futile when OPRF stranded runners on third and second in the seventh inning.
“I told the team that success in this game has to do with dealing with and adjusting to certain failures,” said Ledbetter. “We’re going to get things corrected.”
On April 11, OPRF’s Gil Claudio prevented Lyons Township from sweeping the Huskies in the final game of a three-game series by smashing a game-winning homer in the seventh inning for an 8-7 victory. Claudio went 2-for-4 on the day with two homers, while Hagins also went 2-for-4 with a home run for the Huskies.
OPRF closed out the three-game series against Downers North yesterday (after deadline), The Huskies (12-4, 7-2) travel to Morton for a non-conference matchup on Thursday (4:30 p.m.). They’ll resume West Suburban (Silver) Conference action at Glenbard West on Saturday (11 a.m., doubleheader). The Hilltoppers boast Bill Boockford, a pitcher headed to Notre Dame in the fall.
“Right now it doesn’t matter who the opponent is, this team has to get some things addressed,” said Ledbetter. “This is a really good team, but it can be a great one if they raise their maturity level.”