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The Fenwick baseball team won four games last week, outscoring the opposition by a mind-boggling 30-1 margin to run its perfect record to 7-0 this spring. While the defending Catholic League White Division champs' scintillating start is cause for optimism, a brutal schedule kicks in this week with games at Mount Carmel, St. Laurence (Wed., 4:30 p.m. at the Priory), at Brother Rice and Providence (Sat., 11 a.m. at the Priory) over a six-day span.
Regardless of the their upcoming results against the Catholic League's big boys, Fenwick coach Dave Hogan is pleased with the Friars' promising start. After taking on their assorted Southside-based Catholic League rivals, the Friars will head even further south - to Orlando, Fla., to participate in the Disney Wide World of Sports Tournament, April 9-13.
"It's going to be a tough [schedule] but we're looking forward to the challenge," Hogan said. "I'm really happy with our defense and pitching. Offensively, we're making contact and not striking out too much."
Fenwick earned an impressive 10-0 win over visiting Kenwood at the Priory on Saturday. Bellarmine-bound Joe Patzelt (2-for-3, three RBI) and Creighton-bound Ryan Fitzgerald (2-for-2, two RBI) paced the Friars, who scored five runs in the fourth inning to break open the game. Patzelt triggered the Friars' auspicious fourth inning when he cracked a two-run double. Jack Forde added a two-bagger pushing two more runs across the plate.
Fenwick starter Kyle Pullia (3-0) tossed a three-hitter and struck out 10. Pullia struck out the side in the fourth and fifth innings to close out the game.
"I was very leery about Kenwood," Hogan said. "They are a solid club who battled Mount Carmel close [lost 3-1 to the Caravan]. I thought it was one of the games where we could have stubbed our toe, but Kyle just kept getting stronger."
Last Wednesday, Fenwick opened its Catholic League campaign against Leo with another 10-0 victory. Patzelt allowed three hits and fanned three over four innings to pick up the win. Left-hander Cal Laird looked impressive in relief, striking out two of the three batters he faced. Offensively, Drew Schroeder went 3-for-3 with a triple and two RBI, while Sam Ainsworth also knocked in two runs via a triple.
The Friars notched a 7-1 win over Guerin and a 3-0 victory against Proviso East to open last week. Against Guerin, Pullia gave up just two hits and had eight punchouts. Fitzgerald finished 4-for-4 with a double and Jim Sweeney added two hits and an RBI.
Forde dazzled on the mound against a pesky Proviso East club by throwing a two-hit, 12-strikeout gem. The Friars managed seven hits but scored runs in the first, third and fifth innings via effective small ball.
"We did a good job of getting 'em on, moving 'em over and scoring enough runs," Hogan said. "Proviso East is going to do some damage in the West Suburban Conference, so it's a good win for us."