With its series knotted at one game apiece against Ridgewood heading into the decisive third game, the Riverside-Brookfield High School baseball team certainly liked its chances with ace Will Kincanon on the mound.
Instead, the Rebels scratched out a 4-1 win against the all-state pitcher to take the series. Ridgewood scored three runs on a timely double early in the game, which proved more than enough offense to hold down the punchless Bulldogs.
RBHS (10-7, 2-4 Metro Suburban Conference), which finished with only three hits, put runners on the corners in the seventh but a game-ending double play clinched the victory for the Rebels. Kincanon went the distance with three earned runs allowed, one walk and eight strikeouts.
“We have allowed 20 total runs against us in six conference games and have only two wins to show for it,” RBHS coach Dallas Till said. “Our pitching and defense has been spectacular, but we simply aren’t hitting the ball well enough to win games.”
The Rebels also edged RBHS 3-2 in nine innings on April 23. RBHS junior Nico Ranieri allowed two runs over six innings of work, while reliever Adam Martinson took the loss. Again, the Bulldogs struggled offensively with just four hits over nine innings and leaving several runners in scoring position. Jake Surprenant provided one of the few highlights at the plate, crushing a double deep in the outfield.
In the series opener on April 22, the Bulldogs coasted to a 5-1 win against Ridgewood in Norridge. Connor Berek (3-1), who has emerged as a solid starter in the rotation this spring, threw 6 1/3 innings to pick up the win. He allowed one earned run and scattered six hits while also striking out nine and walking just two. Martinson earned the save.
Justin Agne ignited the Bulldogs’ offense with an RBI single in the first. Brian Kulaga and Jimmy Doherty maintained the momentum, each with a key hit during the Bulldogs’ three-run third inning extending their lead to 4-0. Kevin Fitzgerald smashed a double in the sixth inning to make it a 5-0 score. Doherty paced the offense with three hits and Fitzgerald contributed a single and double
“We didn’t execute well against Ridgewood,” Kincanon said. “The series against Timothy Christian is going to be huge for us. We need to play well by doing the little things and string together some wins.”