Considering Riverside-Brookfield had its Prom on Friday night, the Bulldogs’ head baseball coach Dallas Till was understandably leery of Saturday’s doubleheader at Wheaton Academy.
The Bulldogs (17-9, 9-3 Metro Suburban Conference) quelled any of their skipper’s concerns with a solid sweep of the Warriors by scores of 5-2 and 9-3.
“Our players were focused and played well,” Till said. “Our pitching [again] was lights out and we put in some plays with aggressive base running to generate more offense. We are doing everything we can to push more runs across the plate.”
In the twinbill opener, sophomore Will Kincanon (5-2, 1.98 ERA) yielded one run and scattered four hits with 11 strikeouts in 6 12/3 innings of impressive work. Tied at 2-2, Kincanon, Kevin Garvey and Alex Nenadovic slapped singles to fuel a three-run third inning and a 5-2 Bulldogs’ lead. RB reliever Adam Kuta recorded the final out to pick up the save.
In the nightcap, RB exploded for eight runs off six hits in the sixth inning to break open a close game. C.J. Duffek and Jack Scott had two hits apiece during the frame, which also included five errors by Wheaton Academy. Duffek led the Bulldogs’ 12-hit attack with a 3-for-5, two-RBI performance bolstered by the bat work of Nenadovic (2-for-3, double, two RBIs) and Scott (2-for-3). Garvey pitched five innings to earn the win and Matt Quintana threw two scoreless frames for the save.
The “Bulldogs by Committee” formula for success also worked well against Antioch last week. After a long road trip, RB came off the bus swinging to deliver a 7-5 win against Antioch. Duffek, Leary, Kincanon and catcher Alex Spirios lifted RB to a 2-0 lead in the first inning with timely singles. Trailing 5-2 after three innings, the Bulldogs kick started their offense again in the fourth with an RBI double from Duffek that scored Andy Suzuki, who smashed a leadoff double.
RB capped off its rally in the fifth inning with two more runs via run-producing hits from Garvey and Nenadovic to secure the 7-5 decision. Kincanon shut the door on Antioch with two sparking innings out of the bullpen highlighted by four punchouts, while RB starter Nenadovic captured his team-high sixth win of the season.
“Alex [Nenadovic] has done a great job all season,” Till said, “and Will continues dominate. It was uncharacteristic [for Kincanon] to make a relief appearance but we wanted to get him some work out of the pen.”
The Bulldogs take on Timothy Christian in another key conference series this week before visiting Argo in a nonconference game on Saturday. Currently a game out of first place in the Metro Suburban, RB still hopes to hunt down conference co-leaders Illiana Christian and Glenbard South, who swept Elmwood Park and Fenton, respectively, in league action last week.