The OPRF baseball team extended its early-season success to nine wins by downing Leyden on Saturday. 

The Huskies (9-1) scored five runs in the second inning on their way to an 8-2 win. Jack Picchiotti’s double to right field in the second scored two runs. Nick Kowalczuk’s sacrifice fly and Matt McCormack’s single also plated runs in the frame.    

Zachary Weigel, who went 2-for-3 with an RBI at the plate, earned the win on the mound. Weigel allowed just two runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings. He struck out seven and walked two for his third win on the season.

“Zack has been getting ahead of hitters in the count and throwing strikes, and you can’t ask for much more from a pitcher,” said OPRF head coach Chris Ledbetter of his left-handed ace. “We’re able to hang around long enough to get our offense going.”

Of Weigel’s 95 pitches on Saturday, 66 were strikes. His ERA on the season is 1.47. Not only has the Seton Hall-bound senior been tearing it up on the mound, he’s currently leading the team in batting average with a .536 going into this week. Weigel has accumulated a team leading 15 hits in 28 at bats, including 11 singles. Last season he hit safely in 29-straight games.      

Earlier last week, Charlie Fencik, a nephew of former Bears free safety Gary Fencik, drove in the winning run in OPRF’s 4-3 win over Downers Grove South. The junior singled in the sixth inning to plate pinch runner Pat Clifford.

OPRF scattered three singles in the first inning that led to three runs before its bats went cold in that game. Downers South tied the score in the third before reliever Henry Cappell came in and quelled the comeback. Cappell yielded no runs and just one hit while fanning four in three innings of work.      

The game was similar to OPRF’s 4-3 win over Glenbard West the day before. Picchiotti hit a home run in the bottom of the eighth inning to seal that victory.  

 “I couldn’t be happier with the way we’re playing and with the way the guys are practicing,” said Ledbetter. “We’ve got a long way to go, but this is an indication we’re certainly on the right track.”

The Huskies begin a three-game Silver Division conference series with a doubleheader at home against Hinsdale Central on Saturday (2 p.m.).

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Brad Spencer

Brad Spencer has been covering sports in and around Oak Park for more than a decade, which means the young athletes he once covered in high school are now out of college and at home living with their parents...