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Baseball dethrones DeKalb, sits at 8-3
Key second inning, pitching prowess make good recipe for NIB-12 win
KANELAND—It’s good to be a member of Kaneland baseball at the moment.
By that same token, it must be a giant headache to be on the opposite side of the diamond.
With an 8-3 record, and 4-0 in the Northern Illinois Big XII, the Knights are seeing timely hitting and borderline dominant pitching at the front and back ends of the depth chart.
On Monday in DeKalb, the Knights endured a 35-minute lightning delay to stifle the host Barbs 7-2.
Earlier action in the week had Kaneland host Geneva and emerge with a 7-6 win in nine innings. In a three-game NIB-12 tussle with the Rochelle Hubs, the Knights engineered a three-game sweep, beating the Hubs 9-2 in Ogle County on Friday, winning 7-5 on Thursday in Maple Park and beginning the series with a 7-5 win on April 16 at home.
On Monday, winning sophomore starter Anthony Holubecki struck out seven in five innings, while walking four. Reliever Nick Stahl was lights out with four strikeouts in a perfect two-inning outing.
Joe Laudont was 2-3 with a double, two RBI and two runs scored, while teammate Tyler Carlson was 3-3 with a walk and a run scored.
Down 1-0, Kaneland poured on a four-run rally. Joe Panico’s sacrifice fly scored Connor Fedderly, while an RBI single by Laudont worked for the eventual game-winning RBI. Carlson reached on a play that resulted in two errors by the DeKalb defense bringing home Bachio and courtesy runner Austin Wheatley for a 4-1 advantage.
The score would remain in stasis through a third-inning lightning delay under threatening skies until the top of the seventh, where the Knights’ three insurance runs came thanks to RBI singles from Laudont and Nate Hopkins, along with an RBI double from Nick Stratman.
‘We’ve got some work to do these next couple days to be happy,” KHS coach Brian Aversa said. “Anthony is throwing well. Obviously, his pitch count was a little high for our liking. When he’s on, he’s on, and when he’s not, he’s not. He did a good job of coming back after that lightning delay and being a little more efficient than what he was.”
Laudont played a sizable part in the win, with his bat as well as behind the plate.
“Joe (Panico) is always great to hit behind because I know he’ll get on in front of me,” Laudont said. “He’s a great guy to drive in and gets me fired up.”
In the extra-inning win against former conference rival Geneva, Nick Henne earned the win in relief, while Laudont’s RBI single was the game-winning hit.
On Friday, the Knights were amped from a six-run sixth inning to ice the contest in the seven-run win. In Thursday’s two-run squeaker at Kaneland, Fedderly emerged with a 3-for-3 day with two driven in. KHS scored two in the bottom of the sixth to break it open and give Henne the win in relief. Action on April 18, coming a day after snow had hit the area, had KHS put up three runs in the second inning for the win. Carlson had two hits, while Holubecki had 10 Ks in the win.
On Thursday, April 24, Kaneland continues its series with visiting DeKalb.