KANELAND—Playing at the University of Cincinnati against Ken Griffey Jr.’s former high school team was the highlight of a spring break trip for the Kaneland baseball team that featured more cancelations than games.
The Knights’ ability to get out to a field and get regular season action underway had been hampered by the difficult winter and early spring, but were able to find their way to Ohio for a Friday game against Archbishop Moeller at the Bearcats’ home, Marge Schott Stadium. Moeller defeated the Knights 8-4.
The Knights made the most of a trip down south, where there were more cancellations, even taking in a Cincinnati Reds-St. Louis Cardinals game at Great American Ballpark.
“Even though we didn’t play more than one game, we got a lot accomplished as a team as far as team bonding and having fun goes. We also rented an indoor facility on two different days and got some good practice in,” KHS coach Brian Aversa said. “The good thing is, we played with the best, we know what we are capable of doing, we just have to go out and do that now. So if anything, this trip got these kids believing in what we are capable of doing.”
On Tuesday, KHS suffered a 7-2 setback at the hands of host West Aurora.
Kaneland is now 0-3 on the young season.
Against Moeller, the 17th-ranked team in the nation in the USA Today rankings, KHS took a 2-0 lead after the top of the 1st and a 4-1 lead after its turn in the 3rd. Moeller returned the favor and then some with five in the 4th and two more in the 6th to ice it.
Hurler Anthony Holubecki (pictured above) was tagged with the loss after 4 1/3 innings and six runs (one earned) on three hits.
Curtis Thorson went 2-for-3 with an RBI and Joe Laudont went 1-for-3 with an RBI triple.
“We will make small adjustments here and there throughout our lineup and our pitching staff,” Aversa said. “The toughest part is going a full week, or in last year’s case, two weeks, without consistently playing games. Once we get into that groove, I think we will be much more comfortable with what we are doing both at the plate and in the field. We’ve played two games and have only had one practice on our field. We just have to take advantage of every opportunity that we have when we can get on a field to practice.”
Against West Aurora, KHS got an early 2-0 lead in the top of the second before surrendering five runs in the bottom of the second. The Blackhawks added another run in both the fourth and sixth innings to claim victory. Joe Laudont and Austin Wheatley went 1-3, while Joey Panico went 1-2 with a run and a walk. Nick Stahl took the loss for the Knights.
The Knights were scheduled for a road game at Plano on Wednesday, followed by a home matchup with Hononegah in Rockton, Ill., on Thursday, April 10, and a Northern Illinois Big XII crossover tussle with host Sterling on Saturday, April 12.