In the Scouts’ home opener on Monday, it took three innings for the game to see its first baserunner as each offense got off to a slow start, but began to click later in the game. In game two of the three game set, that wasn’t the case. The Scouts fell behind the host Wildcats early, but rallied back late in the game to make the contest a nail-biter.
The Scouts defensive struggles on Tuesday night began right off the bat in the bottom half of the first inning. Four of Libertyville’s seven total hits in the game came in the bottom half of the first, which helped the Wildcats break out a three run lead. Dan Marks and Nick Angel–who both boast a .333 batting average this season–had RBI hits, adding on to their already impressive start to the 2017 season. Libertyville got one more in the 3rd after Dan Marks took home on a wild pitch.
Come the fifth inning, however, the Lake Forest Scouts were down by four runs and a chance at a comeback was dwindling until Cats starting pitcher Ryan Cote began giving up base runners. Paul Turelli finally broke the Scouts’ offensive silence when he singled to left field, scoring Brad Czerniejewski. The Scouts continued their strong offensive stand in the 5th inning when Charlie Reinkemeyer stole home, cutting the Libertyville lead to only two runs with still two more innings remaining.
In the top of the 6th inning, Libertyville relief pitcher Scott Hay walked two Scouts players with only one out. Once again, Lake Forest was clicking and saw an opening. After the runners advanced, Hay became the second Libertyville pitcher of the game to give up a run on a wild pitch. Caleb Durbin crossed the plate to cut the Libertyville lead–which was once four–down to only one run, but this time the Wildcats had an answer to the Scouts’ rally.
In the bottom half of the 6th, Ben Laud had a crucial RBI single to right field, scoring Jackson Peterson from second. Libertyville stretched their lead to two runs, hoping that the Scouts’ late inning surge would come to a close.
In the top of the 7th, the Scouts got cooking again by getting two runners on base with no outs, but the tide turned when Brian King turned a perfect double play, clearing the bases and leaving the Scouts with just one more out. Yet, the outcome of the 6-4-3 double play wasn’t all that bad, as the Scouts did get a run out of it, cutting the Wildcats lead to a run. The Scouts needed some late game magic in order tie the game with two outs, but Wildcats closer Billy Krumm made sure to nail the door down. The final Scouts batter went down on strikes, ending the game and the Scouts chances for an epic comeback.
If the Scouts play every inning like they did in the 5th through 7th innings, they will be in good shape in their North Suburban Conference season; but the slow start haunted Lake Forest again. The Scouts didn’t leave nearly as many base runners stranded as they did on Monday evening, but they still did commit a pair of errors. There is still plenty of room for improvement, but the Scouts are showing progress as the season continues.
From a fan standpoint, it seems that the Scouts are beginning to figure out this Wildcats team. They will be at West Campus today at 4:30 as they look to avoid a sweep and get back on the winning track. Go support your Lake Forest Scouts Varsity baseball team as they get set to play a crucial game against their conference rivals.