Spartans relying on rubber-armed Treml against Knights
Colan Treml was ready to pitch on Monday.
The Sycamore junior had just thrown 11 innings over a four-day period and earned both regional wins in as the Spartans claimed the Class 3A Hampshire regional title Saturday with a 6-5, 10-inning win over Burlington Central.
Yet, Treml wanted to throw a bullpen session at Sycamore's practice as the Spartans prep to play Northern Illinois Big 12 East rival Kaneland at 4 p.m. in Wednesday's Class 3A Rochelle Sectional semifinal.
Kaneland was 2-1 against Sycamore in NI Big 12 East Conference play.
"My arm never gets sore," said Treml, who took a 3-2 loss against Kaneland on May 8. "I felt like I could throw nine innings at Monday's practice. I don't know why my arm is so durable, it's just always been that way."
Because arm fatigue has never been an issue, Treml (5-3, one save) was able to throw six shutout innings last Wednesday in a 7-0 win against Genoa-Kingston and bounce back Saturday with four shutout innings in a relief win against Burlington Central. He will likely face Kaneland's ace starting pitcher, sophomore and Notre Dame recruit Anthony Holubecki (5-2) at Rochelle.
The pitching matchup features two power arms. Treml has an 84 mph fastball and two different curveballs that he throws from a three-quarters arm angle. Holubecki has an explosive 90 mph fastball, and Sycamore (24-12) only had three hits against Holubecki during the regular season when the Knights (18-15) won 3-2 to take the NI Big 12 East series.
Sycamore coach Jason Cavanaugh had to reign in Treml this week at practice to make sure he was ready for today's start.
"He's just never sore," Cavanaugh said. "All he did was stretch, throw and run this week. But he wanted to get in some fielding because he's the backup shortstop. He wanted to pitch and hit. He wanted to do more.
"As a pitcher, he's just started to figure out how good he can be. He's a power pitcher that works fast and delivers from an awkward three-quarters arm angle. The more he pitches the better he gets. His breaking ball can be lights out the longer he goes in a game. On short rest Saturday, his curveball was spot on."
Class 3A Rochelle Sectional semifinal
Sycamore (24-12) Vs. Kaneland (18-15)
Where: Rochelle High School, 1401 Flagg Road, Rochelle
When: 4 p.m. today
How they got here: Sycamore beat Genoa-Kingston, 7-0, in the Hampshire Regional semifinals; beat Burlington Central, 6-5 in 10 innings, in the regional final. Kaneland beat Aurora Central Catholic, 12-0, in the Plano Regional semifinals; beat St. Francis, 4-1 in 9 innings, in the regional final.
Scouting the Spartans: Nathan Haacker (.402, 10 doubles, 9 HR, 33 RBIs) ensured he’d have another game to chase the Sycamore home run record of 10 with his dramatic game-winning, 10th-inning homer against Burlington Central on Saturday. The Sycamore offense, which struggled during a seven-game losing streak during the regular season, has returned to the potent form it showed early in the season. Cooper Vinz (.427, 13 doubles, 2 triples, 6 HR, 43 RBI) is three doubles and three RBIs from the Spartans’ respective records. The Spartans’ No. 3 and No. 4 hitters will have another chance to solve Kaneland ace and probable starting pitcher Anthony Holubecki (5-2), who held Sycamore to just three hits earlier this season.
Scouting the Knights: In only his second at-bat this year, Nick Stahl hit a game-winning three-run homer in the Knights’ Plano Regional title win. The only time Kaneland won a regional title was 2011, a 1-0 win against Sycamore, which started its run to the Class 3A state title. Sycamore starting pitcher Colan Treml (5-3, 1 save) held the Knights scoreless for five innings in the regular season, before Kaneland picked up a 3-2 win with a three-run sixth inning on May 8.
Outlook: The Knights beat Sycamore 1-0 in the 2011 regional final and went on to win the Class 3A state title. A similar game could develop today at Rochelle as probable starting pitchers Treml and Holubecki have yet to allow an earned run in the postseason. Because scoring opportunities should be at a premium, whichever offense can manufacture a run and maximize its scoring opportunities, if and when they are presented, will advance to Saturday’s sectional final.