SYCAMORE – Every time he needed one, Jeremy Karasewski came up with a big pitch.
DeKalb’s senior left-hander threw a complete game, worked out of several jams and led the Barbs to a series victory against rival Sycamore with a 9-2 win Thursday at Sycamore Park.
“Shaky start, but I’m happy I found a way to get outs for my team,” Karasew-ski said. “I haven’t had the best control always in my whole life, but I’ve always been good at getting people out, so when I needed to get big outs, I got them.”
Karasewski kept Sycamore’s hitters off-balance by consistently pounding the outside of the plate. It forced nine flyouts, most of them to left field, while he notched eight strikeouts.
“We talked about it. I don’t know what to do,” Sycamore coach Jason Cavanaugh said. “We talked about it all day [Wednesday] and all day [Thursday]. We said you have to hit the ball on the ground. The ball’s not going to leave the ballpark [Thursday]. The wind’s not blowing 35 miles an hour straight out where we can do something about it. We’ve got to put the ball on the ground and make them field it.”
Sycamore (6-6, 1-2 Northern Illinois Big 12 Conference) had two early chances to get on the board but left five men on base in the first two innings. The Spartans loaded the bases in the first, but Karasewski struck out Nathan Haacker and induced a grounder to end the inning and preserve a 1-0 lead for DeKalb (7-4-1, 2-1 NI Big 12). With two runners on in the second, Karasewski again got a big strikeout to end the threat.
“That was fantastic,” DeKalb coach Jake Howells said. “I don’t think he had his best stuff, and for some reason he struggles early quite a bit. But he made a lot of big pitches when we needed to make big pitches. He just did it time and time and time again.”
DeKalb took advantage of its opportunities at the plate, blowing the game wide open in a five-run fourth.
The Barbs batted around, with Jared Johnson hitting a two-RBI double to left and Patrick Aves driving in a run on a single. Kevin Sullivan also scored on a wild pitch, something the Barbs did three times Thursday.
“The bottom line is we just didn’t compete,” Cavanaugh said. “For whatever reason, our guys just didn’t compete today. Our pitchers didn’t compete today. We’re walking guys right and left. I thought defensively we played pretty good.”
Cavanaugh said the Spartans played a sloppy game, something they’ll have to turn around as NI Big 12 play continues.
“You’re playing your closest rivals, on a nice day and there are like 200 people here,” Cavanaugh said. “You’d think you’d have something to prove. I would have thought we’d have something to prove today.”