Injuries and illness are never welcomed by any baseball team, but Riverside-Brookfield was hit particularly hard by a few players missing in action last week.
Opening their Metro Suburban Conference schedule against league newcomer Glenbard South, the short-handed Bulldogs (4-5-1, 1-2 Metro Suburban) were missing first baseman/cleanup hitter Andy Suzuki (fractured finger, likely out four weeks) and centerfielder Tyler Radek, who missed two games of the three-game series with an illness.
“A number of guys stepped in and did a nice job for us,” RB coach Dallas Till said. “Unfortunately, missing key players [like Andy and Tyler] never makes things any easier and we could only muster one win against Glenbard South.”
The Bulldogs avoided a series sweep by knocking off the Raiders 6-0 in the finale.
Scoreless after three innings, RB got on the board when TJ Bongiorno cracked a double to left-center scoring shortstop Vito DeRango from second base for a 1-0 lead. The Bulldogs broke the game wide open with a five-run, four-hit sixth inning. Senior second baseman Jason Biegel hit a two-run homer during the breakout frame. Senior left-hander David Tortorici tossed a complete game, allowing four hits, while striking out eight and walking two.
“It was a big win for us to stay in the conference race,” Till said. “David did a nice job of working his way out of several jams and our offense got it going [late] in the game.”
The Raiders downed RB 8-7 and 8-5 in the first two games. In Game 2, DeRango had three RBIs and senior third baseman Charlie Morrissey added two hits for the Bulldogs.
Trailing Glenbard South 8-4 in the bottom of the seventh, RB scored three runs before falling short by one run. The red-hot Morrissey went 4-for-4 with two doubles and two RBIs, and sophomore outfielder CJ Duffek added two hits, a walk and a stolen base in the opener.