Scouts Dominate #12 Ranked Mundelein

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Charlie Valentincic, Editor

The Scouts were back in action on Monday afternoon as they traveled to Mundelein to take on the 12th ranked Mundelein Mustangs. With Mr. Lesniak in attendance in a hometown Mundelein shirt, the Scouts looked to secure their 11th win of the season.

Senior Zach Porter was on the mound for the Scouts as he looked to match his previous outing and record his third win of the year. With two runners on in the bottom of the first, Porter caught the Mundelein baserunner sleeping and picked him off first escaping the early jam.

The Mustangs would strike first, however, scoring on a triple in the bottom of the third. They would add another run on a single to right field and the Scouts found themselves trailing 2-0 after the three innings.

The Scouts answered in the top of fourth as the senior Rocco Royer and sophomore Gianni Royer both singled giving the Scouts runners on first and second with nobody out. Junior Leo Anderson sent a line drive over the left fielders head scoring the Royer brothers and tying the game.

Two batters later, senior Ian Dillow doubled, scoring Anderson and giving the Scouts the lead halfway through the game.

Porter was then able to settle in for the Scouts retiring six of the next seven batters. He finished the game going five innings and allowed two runs on three hits and striking out five.

“It was really all about beating the heat,” said Porter. “I just wanted to stay relaxed out there, especially in those tougher innings.”

The Scouts began the top of the sixth getting the first three runners on base via two walks and a hit by pitch. On the fifth pitch of his at-bat, freshman Tommie Aberle grounded out to second base but scored a run giving the Scouts a 4-2 lead.

Junior Cade Nowik replaced Porter on the mound and the hard-throwing right-hander was able to settle in immediately. Nowik struck out two batters in the bottom of the sixth allowing the Scouts to get one more chance to extend their lead in the top half of the seventh.

Senior Sammy Long walked on four pitches to give the Scouts a base runner with no outs and after two strikeouts, Nowik had the chance to help himself out on the mound and extend their lead. Nowik battled to a full count and the Mustangs’ pitch hung a curveball and for the second time in the last week, Nowik sent a high flyball that cleared the fence with ease and gave the Scouts a 6-2 lead.

“I choked up and knew if I got another curve that I would do some damage. The next pitch started at me and I knew it would end up in the middle of the zone,” said Nowik. “Right when I hit the ball I knew it was gone. I could hear my teammates behind me and it meant everything to me.”

With Mustangs down to their final at-bats of the game, Nowik looked to close the door and give the Scouts their seventh conference win of the year. Nowik began the inning by striking out the first two batters, then forcing a ground ball to third basemen Shep Graf who fielded and threw it to first securing the win for the Scouts.

The boys did not miss Mr. Lesniak in the stands either and they were quick to point it out both during and after the game to one another.

“It was a great motivator to see a member of our school supporting the other guys,” said Porter. “It made the win all the sweeter.”

It was all-around a clean game for the Scouts as it was one of the few games this year where they did not have an error in the field. The bats came alive and everyone was able to do their job.

“Every Scout in the dugout played a crucial role in keeping our energy high. When we are playing loose and having fun, we are a very tough team to beat,” said coach Mike Nilles. “We executed on every facet of the game: defense, baserunning, coaching, and hitting moonshots on hanging curves.”