WAUKEGAN, Ill. — After getting postponed Monday night due to inclement weather, the Lake Forest Scouts varsity baseball team took on the Waukegan Bulldogs in a double header under the lights at historic Bowen Park. The Scouts were riding high on confidence heading into first game after defeating the same Bulldogs team the previous night by ten runs. Breck Nowik was handed the start as Lake Forest looked to clinch a series victory.
The Scouts got things going right away in the top of the first. In his first plate appearance of the night, Caleb Durbin reached on an error made by Waukegan first basemen Dylan De La Torre. Two at-bats later, Durbin came around and scored on a double drilled to right field by Drew Golde. That was the start of what could have been a nightmare inning for the Bulldogs. Both Breck Nowik and Andrew Gough had doubles of their own before the end of the inning extending the Scouts lead to two. With Nowik throwing a gem on the mound, the Lake Forest lead seemed a lot bigger than it was.
Coming into the top of the seventh, the Scouts had extended their lead to four after RBI singles from both Peter Turelli and Caleb Durbin, however, were still looking for some padding just in case the Bulldogs had a late rally in them. Things went South for Waukegan genuinely quick. Andrew Gough teed off on the second pitch that relief pitcher Juan Gonzalez threw and sent it over the left field porch. It was the Scouts second out of the park home run of the season and extended the Lake Forest lead to five. After Gough’s dinger, the Scouts went on an immense rally. Five straight batters reached before the Bulldogs could record an out. Griffin Strang and Ryan Lee both picked up RBI’s during the sequence. Up nine with the game now well out of reach, Andrew Gough, who started the inning with a bang, ended it in similar fashion with a two run double to center field. The Lake Forest Scouts went on to win the first game 11-0 and at the time at least clinched a series victory.
The Lake Forest defense was yet again nearly perfect. In six innings, Breck Nowik only allowed one hit and the players behind him didn’t commit a single error. Meanwhile on offense, Andrew Gough shined with three RBI’s on three hits. Nowik also had himself three hits of his own and an RBI. Griffin Strang, who was presented with the North Suburban Conference Sportsmanship Award prior to the first pitch, made an impact on offense with two hits and one run batted in. Immediately following the conclusion of the first game, the third and final game of the series got underway.
Unlike the first two game of the series, the Scouts got off to a very slow start in game three, in fact their start was so slow that Waukegan was the first to score. With the game tied up in the bottom of the third, Baldomero Garza’s sacrifice fly to right field scored Christopher King giving the Bulldogs their first lead of the series. Lake Forest did not have an answer for Waukegan’s starting pitcher until the top of the fifth.
With only three more plate appearances left, the Scouts had a sense of urgency in the fifth inning. After Caleb Durbin and Ryan Lee both drew walks to start the inning, JR Naughton’s single to left field scored both runners after an ill-advised throw. An inning later, Lake Forest finally pulled away.
In the top of the 6th, Lake Forest put up a five spot extending their lead to six. How did they get there? By taking smart at-bats, not to mention another big fly by one of the Scouts best hitters. With one out an men at first and third, Collin McDonnell’s sacrifice fly scored Connor Morrison. Then, Ryan Lee came through with another big hit on an RBI double to left field. With a three run lead, Caleb Durbin proceeded to break things open the same way Andrew Gough did in the previous game. On the second pitch of his at bat, Durbin got a hold of one and sent a bomb over the fence in left field. Up 7-1, Lake Forest could sense a series sweep over the Bulldogs.
The Scouts scored three more runs in the top of the seventh with RBIs from Brady Christoph, Colin McDonnell and Andrew Fluri. In the end, The Lake Forest Scouts went on to win the contest by the final score of 10-2 completing the sweep and improving their record on the season to 16-12-1.
Interestingly enough, the Scouts first postseason game next Monday will be against the Waukegan Bulldogs at home. Given how the series went, Lake Forest should be confident heading into the first round. The team scored over 30 runs in the three game set and held Waukegan to a combined two runs. Up next for the Scouts will be a road game against Deerfield, then will return home for Senior day at 10:30 against Glenbrook South. Stay tuned to The Forest Scout for the latest news and coverage of the Lake Forest Scouts varsity baseball team.