With the weather finally showing glimpses of turning for the better this spring, the Riverside-Brookfield High School baseball team (like every other area baseball team) has been in mad scramble mode to get in as many games as possible.
The Bulldogs are certainly doing an admirable job of working overtime, as evidenced by picking up a five-pack of wins last week in Metro Suburban Conference action. RBHS owns a gaudy 19-1-1 record highlighted by an unblemished 9-0 mark in conference.
While RBHS is winning games in bunches, coach Dallas Till is preaching a humble, measured approach with his players.
“I told the guys we haven’t done anything yet,” Till said. “We haven’t won our conference, regional or sectional, so we still have to go out and earn our respect one game at a time.”
Will Kincanon (6-0, 0.59 ERA) tossed a three-hitter in the Bulldogs’ 7-0 win over Ridgewood in the opening game of a conference twin bill on Saturday. Kincanon went the distance, striking out nine along the way. C.J. Duffek triggered the offense with three hits, an RBI and a stolen base. Tom Leary knocked in three runs while Kincanon chipped in a pair of RBIs.
In game two, Kevin Garvey (4-0, 2.19 ERA) served up another pitching gem, throwing six innings of one-unearned-run, six-hit ball. Luke Keller and Leary both finished 3-for-4 as the Bulldogs collected 14 hits against the Rebels.
RBHS also notched a three-game sweep of Timothy Christian last week. The marquee game of the series occurred on April 26 when the Bulldogs outslugged the Trojans 15-11. Timothy Christian held leads of 6-2 and 11-8 only to watch the Bulldogs regain the advantage in a wild game influenced by gusting winds at Jaycee-Ehlert Park in Brookfield.
The Bulldogs scored seven runs in the sixth highlighted by Duffek’s three-run homer to put the game away for good. Duffek (3-for-4, three RBIs, three runs) and Justin Agne (three RBIs) led the 15-hit parade. Kevin Fitzgerald, Kincanon and Keller chipped in two hits apiece, while Leary earned the win in relief of left-handed starter Matt Quintana who threw five frames on short rest.
On April 25, the Bulldogs and Trojans waged another compelling battle with RBHS emerging victorious, 6-3 in nine innings. Tied at 3-3 heading into the top of the ninth, RBHS’ Joe Duffy ignited the game-winning push with a single followed by a Quintana walk. Keller cracked a double into right center to plate two runs. Fitzgerald provided more scoring insurance via a single to score Keller extending the lead to 6-3.
Quintana worked 2.1 innings of scoreless relief to earn the victory, while Duffek made several sensational catches in the outfield.
“C.J. kind of saved us in the [Timothy Christian] series,” Till said. “He hit a huge three-run homer and made some great diving catches on defense.”
RBHS cruised to a 5-1 win over Timothy Christian in the series opener on April 22. Kincanon threw a complete-game masterpiece allowing one hit with 14 punchouts. Duffek went 3-for-3 with a double, RBI, two runs scored and two stolen bases.
RBHS takes on Glenbard South in a huge conference series this week. Although the Bulldogs sit atop the Metro Suburban race (9-0), the Raiders are right on their heels with an 8-1 conference record.