The Lake Forest Scouts Varsity baseball squad really did put up twenty runs Tuesday evening against the Waukegan Bulldogs. The Scouts, who previously beat up the Bulldogs at West Campus Monday scoring eleven runs and slaughtering them in six innings, were hungry for more. With Jason Cast on the mound and Lake Forest’s offense facing off against a Bulldog pitching staff that has been notoriously weak this year, everything would have to go wrong for the Scouts not to come out on the winning end of Tuesday night’s match-up. Not many, however, were expecting twenty Scouts batters to cross the plate.
Lake Forest did not waste any time at the beginning of the game to start tallying on runs. The Scouts leadoff hitter, Caleb Durbin, was the first one to get a hit on a double to center field. Only a couple pitches after his deep hit to center, Drew Golde did the same thing, doubling to right field to easily score Durbin. Still with no outs in the inning, Golde advanced to third on an error by the Bulldog’s shortstop on a pick-off attempt and was later able to score on a sacrifice fly that came off the bat of Brad Czerniejewski. Already with a two run lead, the Scouts batting line just kept on moving. Charlie Reinkemeyer, who was hit by a pitch earlier in the inning, was able to cross the plate, making the score 3-0 when Waukegan’s second baseman made an error that could have been avoided. Andrew Athenson, who reached on the one out error, eventually crossed home plate when the ball got by the Bulldog’s catcher making Scouts lead even greater early on. For the first time in this series, however, the Bulldogs had an answer.
Jason Cast struck out the first Waukegan batter that came up to the plate, then forced the next one to ground out. With two outs and no runners on, the Scouts were in good shape to get out of the inning with no damage having been done, but the tides quickly turned. With two strikes on Chris Lobo, Cast lost his chance to complete a 1-2-3 inning when he let up an infield single. The Scouts had their second chance to get out of the inning when a sharp ground ball was hit to Johnny Salm, who could not field it correctly, allowing both runners to be safe. The next Waukegan batter hit a triple to right field, clearing the bases and cutting the Scouts’ lead to two runs. To conclude the Bulldog’s two out rally, the umpire called a balk on Cast (an illegal motion that is made by the pitcher that threatens a runner or batter’s capability at the plate or on the base paths) allowing Waukegan’s runner at third to score. After a terrific offensive start, the Scouts only had a one run lead at the end of the first.
After the two teams goose egged in the second inning, the Scouts got back to action in the third. With one out, Andrew Athenson hit an infield single and eventually made it to third after an error and a ground out. Athenson later scored, giving the Scouts their fifth run of the game when Waukegan’s starting pitcher threw a wild pitch. Now, with an increased cushion, the Scouts could relax.
In the top of the fourth, the Scouts patted their lead even more. Johnny Salm began the inning with a double to left field, then Caleb Durbin followed with an RBI single that went right up the middle. With no outs in the inning, Waukegan had the chance to get their first out when Drew Golde hit a sharp grounder along the right base line, but the ball snuck under the glove of the Bulldogs’ first basemen, allowing Caleb Durbin to come all the way around the base path and score. With one out in the inning, Brad Czerniejewski stepped up to the plate looking to really put some separation between the two teams. Just like he did Monday night, Czerniejewski sent a bomb to left field, clearing the fence and resulting in his second home run in the past two games. Lake Forest had a six run lead and was looking to tack on one more before the inning concluded. With two outs, Parker Messner, who was pinch running for Matt Hill after he got hit by a pitch, was able to make his way around the base path and score on a steal and two wild pitches. Heading into the fifth inning, the Scouts were up 10-3 and were three runs away from their second consecutive slaughter rule victory.
The Scouts may have had their best inning all season in the fifth. Johnny Salm began the inning with a single to left that was followed by an error by Waukegan’s right fielder on a fly ball. With two men on, Drew Golde hit a rocket to center field, resulting in a double that allowed both Salm and Durbin to score. After Golde’s big hit Reinkemeyer and Czerniejewski hit back-to-back singles giving the Scouts there thirteenth run of the contest. At that point the Scouts had a ten run lead, enough to enforce the slaughter rule if they could shutout Waukegan in the bottom of the fifth. But instead of stopping there, the Scouts offense continued to churn with no outs in the inning. With men on first and second, Jackson Thomas hit a single to left field allowing Reinkemeyer to score, extending the Scouts lead to eleven. After Matt Hill drew his second walk of the contest to load up the bases, Parker Messner hit a single to right field allowing pinch runner Ryan Lee to score. Still with the bases loaded, Brian Heidbreder sent a shot out to left field that got down before Jose Gonzalez could get make a play on it. As a result, two runners crossed the plate giving the Scouts a 17-3 lead. Still amazingly with no outs in the inning, Will Woidat grounded out into a fielder’s choice, but scored Parker Messner. After Ryan Chandler singled, Peter Jannotta grounded out to the shortstop, but once again another Scout’s batter came home. To end the crazy top of the fifth, Ryan Lee hit a single that scored Woidat. By then, the Scouts had put up ten runs in the fifth and scored twenty total in only five innings.
The Waukegan Bulldogs were able to add one more run onto the scoreboard in the bottom of the fifth, but that run didn’t mean much at all. The Scouts won twenty(yes, twenty runs) to four. Of course this is the most Lake Forest has scored all season long and it is six more from their previous best dating back to April 4th when they slaughtered Stevenson 14-0. The multitude of runs that they scored Tuesday evening says it all about how good their offense was.
Scouts leadoff hitter and shortstop Caleb Durbin said, “These types of games make you work on staying back at the plate and hitting the ball to the opposite field. Not just in this series against Waukegan, but the last couple of weeks we have all had solid at bats and executing with guys on base, which was an area of growth we needed to focus on in the beginning of the year.” Their offense was spectacular, but their defense however, could have been a bit better. Waukegan has struggled all season long to get runs on the board and although four does not seem like a lot, some of those runs–especially the ones that came in the first inning–could have been avoided. Regardless, this win gives the Scouts a ton of momentum pushing forward into playoff season. Durbin also added “We are definitely peaking as playoffs are coming up and we are going to be a scary team when the time arrives.”
With Tuesday’s victory Lake Forest improves to (14-16) on the season, while Waukegan falls back to a disappointing (1-23). The Scouts will play their final game against Waukegan tonight at West Campus with Illinois State University commit Paul Turelli on the mound, with first pitch scheduled at 4:30. Go support your Lake Forest Scouts Varsity baseball team.