After a tough 5-4 loss to Niles West over the weekend worsened by a 3-2 heartbreaker to Evanston, the Scouts are looking forward to the next series in conference play vs the Warren Blue Devils. The Scouts didn’t play their greatest baseball over the weekend as they failed to capitalize when they had opportunities to win the game. Nevertheless, Lake Forest looks ahead to hopefully playing a full series against Warren. Two of the three games against Stevenson were postponed due to poor weather. Warren, on the other hand, was fortunate and was able to play their whole series against Libertyville. Warren went 1-2 in the series, winning the first matchup 4-1 and losing the next two games 6-1 and 2-0.
Lake Forest ace Christian McCauley will take the bump again for the Scouts looking to replicate his shutout of Stevenson earlier last week. McCauley was used largely as a relief pitcher last season, but he has quickly emerged as the Scouts go-to guy on the hill. When asked about what is necessary for his success against Stevenson to continue, McCauley stated, “I go into every game with the same mindset–don’t try and do too much. I have one of the best defenses in the state behind me and I trust them to make the plays. If I locate my pitches and keep changing speeds to get the batters off balance, things will go well.” With a great hitting lineup to bolster the Scouts’ defensive efforts, if McCauley, along with others, can pitch efficiently and effectively, the Scouts should handle Warren as Lake Forest is the more talented and experienced team.
One of the main contributors to the Scouts’ impressive lineup is senior CF Brad Czerniejewski. “Czerny” as he is called by his teammates, is already showing signs of another great year. Czerniejewski batted over .450 last year and led the team in RBIs. While a repeat year would be an added bonus, Brad is more than capable to have an even greater season. As a senior, the Scouts center fielder is taking on a larger leadership role on the team as a captain. Czerniejewski was asked to relay the ultimate importance in the upcoming series with Warren. “The first goal for our team is to win conference. Warren is always a solid program that we love to compete against. The keys for our success against them is to not just to rely on our pure talent, but executing the little things. If we can get down bunts, not miss signs, and limit strikeouts, we will be in great shape against a very well rounded team.”
Although the Scouts would love to take all three games of the series–especially with two of them in Gurnee–it seems to be more important for Coach Del Fava and the rest of the Scouts to work on playing to their potential. Lake Forest has some high expectations for this season and this series with Warren could set the tone for the rest of the season.