After losing two straight close contests to the Libertyville Wildcats, the Scouts were seeking revenge Wednesday night at home, looking to avoid a sweep and get back to winning baseball. Both teams started one of their best pitchers making the majority of the contest a close, low scoring battle. In almost every inning the Scouts defense was sharp, but as is sometimes the case, one inning took its toll on the Scouts
Similar to Monday’s game, both teams had trouble getting on the board early. Lake Forest pitcher Peter Turelli gave the Libertyville offense a heap of trouble as they struggled in their early at-bats to get a hit off of the sophomore pitcher. Likewise, Wildcats pitcher Collin Fields wouldn’t let the Scouts get in front until midway through the game.
Paul Turelli got in on the offensive action in the bottom of the fourth. He hit a leadoff double to left field, putting himself in scoring position. After a wild pitch with one out, Turelli’s pinch runner, Ryan Lee, stole third, maximizing his chances at scoring with a ball in play. On a full count, Andrew Gough hit a ground ball which turned into an easy out, but he got the job done. Ryan Lee crossed the plate giving the Scouts the edge in the bottom half of the fourth. However, the lead did not last long as Libertyville–as was the case all series–would not go away.
With one out in the top of the 5th inning, Griffin Murphy drew a walk on a full count. Instead of having his players hit away and hope for the best at the plate, Libertyville Wildcats Head Coach Matt Thompson decided to incorporate some strategy. Thompson gave Micah Holzwarth the sign to drop a sacrifice bunt, but before he could get the ball in play, pinch runner Ben Arnold advanced to second on a wild pitch. Then Holzwarth dropped a bunt good enough to advance Arnold to third. With Brian King at the plate, Paul Turelli threw another ball that got by the catcher which resulted in Arnold crossing the plate, effectively tying the game at 1-1. Libertyville tied the game in the fifth inning without getting a single hit.
Two innings later the game remained tied at one. Both teams still had their starting pitchers in as the coaches hoped that they would carry their teams through one more inning. The Scouts were in position to beat Libertyville for the first time this season, but they fell apart. The 7th inning did the Scouts in completely. The first Wildcat run came from Tommy Rigali, who stole home on a wild pitch breaking the tie. Later in the inning with two outs, Lake Forest made a pivotal fielding error which helped two more Libertyville players cross the plate making the Scouts deficit three runs. Libertyville tacked on one more run to top off their eventful seventh inning. In the bottom half of the inning, Collin Fields shut down any Scouts chance at a comeback in the 7th, registering the complete game victory.
After getting swept by the Libertyville Wildcats, the Lake Forest Scouts are now placed sixth out of the seven teams in the North Suburban Conference and have a (3-8) record overall. The Scouts have time to improve, but they must start winning more games and getting the better end of each series to remain in the NSC hunt. The only thing the Scouts can do now is forget about the series against Libertyville and move on to the next one. Their next series will be a two game set against the Stevenson Patriots with Friday’s game at 4:30 in Lincolnshire and Saturday’s game at 10:30 back home in Lake Forest.