Hinsdale C. 2
The OPRF baseball team gained an edge on being the lone team sitting atop the West Suburban (Silver) Conference on Monday by toppling Hinsdale Central 10-2 in the first of a three-game series.
The Huskies (14-10, 8-2), who were coming off two disappointing losses to downstate teams over the weekend, scored three runs in the first inning against the Red Devils and never looked back. Jo Jo Maldonado doubled in a run in the first, while Ryan Mullin drove in a run with a single. Andrew Godbold finished off the scoring in the first with another RBI.
In the fourth, Sam Picchiotti doubled to drive in Maldonado, who had reached with a single. Godbold belted an RBI single.
Luke McLeese earned the win on the mound for the Huskies by pitching a gem. The senior right-hander allowed one earned run off three hits. He finished with no walks and 11 strikeouts.
“Luke McLeese pitched his best game in a Huskies uniform,” said OPRF Chris Ledbetter. “In a must win game, [he] was dominant.
“Winning Game 1 of a three-game series is huge because now the pressure is on them. We need our two other conference starters to step-up and give us a chance in the remaining two games.”
Over the weekend in Peoria, the Huskies fell to Barton-Limestone 8-6 and Illinois Valley Central 10-8.
“It was a frustrating weekend because we battled two really high quality pitchers, however not getting the timely hit and allowing too many base on balls cost us a chance to win a couple of ball games,” said Ledbetter, whose team left 17 runners on base against Barton-Limestone.
Pitchers Evan Vondrasek (sore shoulder) and Josh Leitson (broken Jaw) returned to action this week for the Huskies. Leitson pitched his first inning of the year on Friday night against Barton Limestone, striking out two hitters.
“We have two more conference games against Hinsdale Central this week and a weekend series against Lyons Township. If we continue to get good starting pitching, we can put some pressure on the other conference teams to keep pace,” said Ledbetter.
The Huskies travel to Lyons on Saturday for a doubleheader. Game 1 begins at 10 a.m.