SYCAMORE – Morris pitcher Andy Peters didn’t need much help, but his team mashed behind him, clubbing Sycamore, 13-1, in the second game of their series.
Peters pitched all five innings, striking out seven batters and not allowing a run until the final inning, when the game was already out of reach.
“We knew we’d be playing behind a good arm today. We have a lot of confidence when Andy (Peters) is on the mound, Morris coach Todd Kein said. “He’s throwing well for us and we take that confidence into the batter’s box with us.”
An aggressive Morris took advantage of four Sycamore errors as the team batted around in the fourth inning, scoring six runs and turning a five-run lead into an 11-run blowout.
The Spartans (10-5 overall, 2-3 Northern Illinois Big 12 East) offense fizzled, managing only one hit, a single by Jack Mizgalski in the fourth inning.
Morris (10-6, 1-1) would then add two more runs in the top of the fifth in their last at-bat.
Peters finally showed a crack in the armor in the fifth inning when he walked two batters and hit another. But the Spartans could only manage one run as Austin Mereness scored on a fielder’s choice by Logan Riley.
“Our plan is always to minimize strikeouts. Clearly we weren’t able to do that today. We had a bunch,” Sycamore coach Jason Cavanaugh said. “We’ll give their pitcher a ton of credit. He’s good and we knew he was good coming in.”
Morris started the scoring with two runs in the second inning then added three more in the third before their offensive explosion in the fifth.
Beyond the stats: Peters had at least one strikeout in every inning, including the final out of the game.
They said it: “There’s still a third game of the series to play Thursday at Morris. We play in a very competitive league and the way you win the league is by winning two of three,” Cavanaugh said. “There’s not many sweeps in our league because everybody is pretty good.”
Up next: Sycamore and Morris play the rubber game of the series at 4 p.m. Thursday.