Photo: Senior catcher Sean Dunphy (above) catches a pop-up foul in the first inning against Oswego Saturday. Photos by Mary Paulson
KANELAND—Dealing with some rivalries and non-conference foes this past week, the Knights were tripped up after a close win.
On Monday, Kaneland traveled to Morris and lost 6-3. Tuesday saw the Knights lose again to Morris 4-2.
On Saturday in Maple Park against the Southwest Prairie Conference’s Oswego Panthers, the Knights fell victim to an 8-7 edging. That game was preceded by a trip to Sycamore and a 2-1 win.
Kaneland baseball now sits at a steady 14-11 clip, with a 9-5 mark in the Northern Illinois Big XII.
Facing Morris Monday, it was Nate Hopkins suffering the loss against the Redskins. On Tuesday, Curtis Thorson took the loss, but had nine strikeouts. Hammermeister went 1-1 with two RBI, while Hopkins went 1-1 with a double.
Against the visiting Panthers on Saturday, Thorson was tagged with the loss in the extra eighth inning after surrendering a run in relief.
Kaneland scored two runs in its half of the sixth to go up 7-5 before an unfortunate rally in the top of the seventh sent the game to an extra frame.
For the Knights, Tyler Carlson went 2-for-4 with two RBI and a double, while teammate Austin Wheatley went 3-for-4 with a run scored. Both Danny Hammermeister and Jacob Bachio went 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored.
Against the familiar black-and-gold adversaries last Thursday, KHS benefited from plating a run in the top of the seventh for the difference, thanks to a Joe Panico RBI. Sean Dunphy went 2-for-3 with a double. Nick Henne earned the win to improve to 4-0, thanks to retiring four batters. Nick Stahl earned his seventh save by stifling the final two hitters for Sycamore.
“Our staff has done a nice job of keeping us in games. We have to continue to get better defensively and offensively,” KHS coach Brian Aversa said. “We can hang with anyone in the state if we limit the errors and the extra outs that we give teams. ”
Kaneland treks to Morris for more NIB-12 action on Thursday. On Monday, May 19, Kaneland and Batavia celebrate Senior Night at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark in Geneva, benefitting honorees whose families are battling cancer.
“I think we have a great community of former players and their families, and the connection to the community that we always make is a big draw,” Aversa said. “Plus I would like to think that Kaneland and Batavia are a couple of pretty good baseball programs, and we will both put on a good show with some good baseball. ”