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Baseball’s quest ends in semifinal against rival Sycamore
ROCHELLE, Ill.—Kaneland’s baseball season came to an end on June 4, not with a bang or a whimper.
Rather, it was the inability to connect aluminum to ball.
In a pitchers’ duel, Kaneland was denied a single hit off Sycamore pitcher Colan Treml, while suffering a Brett Weaver home run in the bottom of the fifth in a 1-0 elimation loss.
The Class 3A Rochelle Sectional semifinal loss ends the Kaneland season at 18-16, while Sycamore (26-12) was set to participate in Monday’s Rock Island Super-Sectional at Augustana College after beating Rockford’s Boylan Catholic on Saturday morning.
Treml’s nine-strikeout day was matched by Kaneland sophomore standout Anthony Holubecki, winner of the regional semifinal against Aurora Central Catholic just eight days prior.
Holubecki (6-3) went 5.1 innings in the loss. The defeat at the hands of Northern Illinois Big XII rival Sycamore knotted up the season series at two games apiece between the two programs.
“It’s tough to take; it’s just one swing,” KHS coach Brian Aversa said. “(Anthony) pitched a great game, and you can’t ask much more than two hits from your pitcher.”
The recent run by Kaneland helped to offset a little of the late-season blues that saw KHS drop six of its previous eight contests before the playoff run.
The only baserunners Kaneland was afforded in Ogle County were Curtis Thorson reaching on the first at-bat of the game, thanks to a shortstop error, an error that allowed Joe Panico to reach base in the second inning on a play that was originally ruled a hit, and Thorson reaching again on a shortstop miscue in the third inning. Treml then proceeded to retire the final 14 batters of the game.
“We knew Treml likes to throw first-pitch fastballs and obviously his slider and curveball were nasty. We were behind in the count. Obviously, we don’t like being in that position, so we were going to be aggressive with the first pitch,” Aversa said.
With the loss, occurring after the school’s second-ever regional plaque, the Knights say goodbye to seniors Tyler Carlson, Sean Dunphy, Nick Henne, Nate Hopkins, Kevin Kassinger, Nick Stahl, Thorson and Lucas Wolski.
“This last week has been awesome for all of us,” Aversa said. “It’s been a fun ride. These kids could have easily packed it in after Senior Night, but they hung in there and dusted themselves off.”
Photo by Patti Wilk