Knights complete sweep of Spartans
MAPLE PARK – The Kaneland baseball team finished off a three-game sweep of Sycamore on Friday and knocked the Spartans out of contention for the Northern Illinois Big 12 East Conference title.
The Knights rolled to a 10-0, six-inning victory behind a five-hit shutout from junior right-hander Matt Limbrunner (2-0) and three RBIs from Jordan Jones.
“He hit his spots, threw strikes and let our defense help get the outs,” Knights catcher Tyler Heinle said. “Overall he did a great job.He missed a couple spots, but other than that, he made them chase the ball.”
Limbrunner, who walked only one and fanned six, benefited from an early 4-0 lead
Kaneland (17-8, 10-2) scored four runs in the bottom of the second inning against left-hander Colin Eggleson. Trever Heinle singled and Quinn Buschbacher walked before Jones singled home a run. Another scored on a wild pitch, and Ray Barry drove in a pair with a single to right field.
“Trever’s really stepped it up these last two series and is just smacking the ball hard,” Kaneland coach Brian Aversa said. “Quinn finally broke loose tonight.”
Buschbacher tripled home a run and later scored on a wild pitch to make it 6-0 after three innings. After a wild pitch made it 7-0 in the fifth, Jones clobbered a two-run double to right field to extend the Knights’ lead to 9-0.
Sycamore (14-9, 6-6) had opportunities to battle back throughout the middle innings. The Spartans had at least two runners on base in the third, fourth and fifth innings but couldn’t deliver a clutch hit.
“We had chances to score, and when you don’t take advantage, the momentum swings the other way,” Sycamore coach Jason Cavanaugh said. “We missed a lot of opportunities yesterday and missed a lot more today. We need somebody to come through with a big hit with two outs.”
The Knights induced the 10-run mercy rule in the bottom of the sixth. Jake Razo singled with one out and moved to third on a hit-and-run ground out to second base. Tom Fox, who led the Knights with three hits, singled to right to bring Razo home.
Fred Beltrame had two hits and Mitchell Jordan doubled to lead the Spartans.