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Baseball sees rough beginning on Missouri trail

Photo: Kaneland High School starting pitcher Blake Sowell fires one home during Tuesday’s 12-10 win over visiting Sandwich. Photo by Ryan Wells

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Much like the Cubs going into Cardinals territory, there existed little welcome for the Chicago-area Kaneland Knights baseball squad (0-5).

Spring break and the season began on March 27 against Fox High School at GCS Ballpark in Sauget, Ill., home of the Frontier League’s Gateway Grizzlies, and the Knights fell 4-3.

Kaneland then lost to St. Genevieve of Mo., 13-3 on Thursday, downstate Mt. Zion in Harrisburg, Ill., on Friday by a 6-4 clip, before finally dropping a doubleheader to O’Fallon on Saturday, 4-3 and 10-2.

Against St. Genevieve, KHS took a 2-0 lead in the second and had a 3-1 lead after three innings before the hosts put up a four-spot in the fifth and 10 in the sixth to cinch the slaughter.

Nick Albano suffered the loss in relief, while Kyle Pollastrini and Tyler Bellock each had an RBI.

In the loss against Mt. Zion, KHS again went out to a lead, 4-1 after three, before the hosts scored five for the Knights’ setback, including three in the sixth.

Knight Nick Stahl took the loss in relief, while Joe Komel added a double and two RBI.

The Saturday twinbill failed to bring good news. In game one, Kaneland broke a 2-2 deadlock with a run in the top of the eighth, but the hosts scored two in the last at-bat. Curtis Thorson was tagged with the loss, with Josh Cohrs tagging a double.

The final Saturday contest saw Kaneland fall behind 8-0 after the first two inning on the way to a loss. KHS also committed four errors in the field.

Thorson suffered the loss, but Blake Sowell recorded a double.

“I think we found out who the guys are that we can lean on and who the guys are that we need to get going,” KHS coach Brian Aversa said. “What I know is that we were in a position to win all but one game. We held the lead at some point during the last three innings of each game but ended up relinquishing it. A play here, a call there and we come home 4-1 instead of 0-5.”

On Tuesday vs. Sandwich, the Knights kicked off the home part of their non-conference schedule with a 12-10 win in a cold slugfest.

Komel recorded the win in relief, surrendering just one run in two and a third innings. He also notched three strikeouts.

Limbrunner went two-for-two from the plate, driving in three runs, scoring three times, and adding a steal to his statline.

Wednesday had a home date against Interstate Eight stalwart Plano, with results not available for press time.

On Thursday, April 4, the Knights are set to travel north to Rockton, Ill., to face host Hononegah.