The Riverside-Brookfield baseball team took two of three games from Glenbard South last week, and consequently a positive first step towards winning the Metro Suburban Conference championship this season.
After the Raiders won the series opener 5-3, the Bulldogs (7-5, 2-1 Metro Suburban Conference) bounced back in emphatic fashion via strong performances from starting pitchers Will Kincanon and Alex Nenadovic coupled with timely hitting.
Only a sophomore, the hard-throwing Kincanon (2-1, 4.04 ERA) won the rubber match of the series with a complete game seven-hitter and seven strikeouts in the Bulldogs' 5-3 victory at Ehlert Park last Thursday. RB took charge early when Kincanon and Jack Scott drew walks and Alex Spirios was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Andy Suzuki scratched out an infield single scoring Kincanon to give RB a 1-0 lead. The Raiders responded with two runs in their half of the fourth inning only to watch RB regain the advantage at 3-2 in the bottom of the frame.
CJ Duffek crushed a triple to bring home the Bulldogs' two runs. Tom Leary provided insurance for RB with a two-RBI single in the fifth to extend the lead to 5-2. Glenbard South threatened once more with multiple runners on base and no outs in the seventh, but Kincanon retired the heart of the Raiders' order to seal the win. Duffek and Suzuki had two apiece to pace RB offensively.
RB also earned a 9-4 win over the Raiders the previous day (April 4). The Bulldogs broke open a tight game with seven runs in the fifth inning. Duffek went 2-for-4 with a double and RBI, while Kincanon finished 2-for-3 with an RBI and scored twice. Nenadovic added two doubles and two RBI for the balanced Bulldogs, who had eight hits for the game. Nenadovic (3-0, 3.00 ERA) allowed three earned runs and four hits in six innings to notch the win.
"Our club showed tremendous resiliency and poise to come back and win 2 out of 3," RB coach Dallas Till said about the Glenbard South series. "Alex Nenadovic and Will Kincanon threw outstanding games."
The momentum from the Bulldogs' pivotal conference series win of Glenbard South was stymied a bit during Saturday's 4-0 loss to Nazareth. The Roadrunners' Zack Marske dominated RB, allowing only three hits and fanning 11 hitters. Kincanon, Leary and Luke Keller each had one hit for RB, while Nazareth plated four runs on seven hits. RB starting pitcher Ryan Brown (1-1, 2.33 ERA) threw well going the distance in a tough matchup against the stingy Marske, who has allowed no runs and just six hits with 22 strikeouts over his last 14 innings of work.
RB closes a busy week at De La Salle in a Saturday twin-bill starting at 11 a.m.
"We have four quality starting pitchers," Till said. "Our team needs to hit consistently and eliminate errors on defense, but I'm very pleased with our progress and improvement."