After Tuesday’s 9-1 pasting by visiting Mundelein, it would have been a tall order for the Lake Zurich High School Bears baseball team to avenge that loss on Wednesday, especially given that the 9-0 Mustangs had home field advantage. Wednesday’s outcome was even uglier, as the Bears succumbed to the slaughter rule after Mundelein scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to take an 11-0 lead.
“This is by far the best Mundelein team that I’ve seen in my 11 years here,” said Lake Zurich coach Gary Simon. “They’ve got a lot of things working for them: pitching, hitting, good defense. Their pitching looks real good.”
After putting it all together in Tuesday’s dominant win, the Mustangs were hard-pressed to outdo themselves in Wednesday’s contest, yet that’s exactly what they did.
After the Bears went quietly in the first, Mundelein erupted for six runs in the bottom half of the inning. Following second baseman Charlie Gandolfi lead-off home run off Parker Asmann, the proceeded team batted around.
Catcher John DeVito hammered a triple and came in on a wild pitch. Luis Carrasco then singled, Austin Ozog was hit by Asmann and Nik Gastfield hit an RBI single. Later in the inning, Gandolfi got another hit, a single, driving in the sixth run.
“They were hitting the crap out of the ball,” said Simon. “And with errors and the batter hit by a pitch, we gave them seven outs that inning. You can’t do that with a team like Mundelein.”
“I was missing with some pitches, not getting them where I wanted,” said Asman. “They (Mundelein) took advantage of that.”
Although Mundelein’s offense slowed down considerably after the first inning, pitcher Dante Martinez shut down the Bears, retiring the first eleven batters he faced before Asmann lined a double and Sean Eder singled in the top of the third.
The Mustangs added another run in the bottom of the third on consecutive singles by first baseman Bill McMahon, left fielder Matt Langlie and centerfielder D.J. Lewis.
“When you give a team like Mundelein seven runs, and with their pitcher throwing as well as he was, it’s going to be very hard to come back,” said Simon.
“Their pitching was real solid in both of the games we played,” said the Bear’s Jacob Larue, who managed a hit off Martinez in the fifth inning.
After Ed Szarkowicz pitched a scoreless frame for the Bears in the fifth inning, the Mustangs reached reliever Steve Kuhn for four runs in the sixth. Lewis started things off with a single through the right side of the infield, followed by Gandolfi’s double. Maranto’s fly ball drove in a run, which was followed by DeVito's RBI single. The final two runs were the result of a double by Jordan Wiegold.
“We hit the ball much better yesterday,” said Simon. “We had six hits and struck out only twice in that game.”
In Tuesday’s game, the Mustang’s Carrasco was the hitting star, with a home run and two long doubles in the North Suburban Lake Division opener for both teams.
Carrasco demonstrated his ability to hit to all fields, as he homered to center in the first inning, doubled off the right field fence in the third, and doubled low off the left field fence in the fifth. The Bears got smart in the sixth and walked him.
The Mustangs also got homers from Gastfield and Langlie. Both players hit opposite field shots, clearing the right field fence. Gastfield hit a solo shot in the second, while Langlie hit his with Bill McMahon on second during a four-run sixth inning.
The Mustangs put on an offensive clinic, as every player had at least one hit. The team finished with a total of thirteen hits.
The Bear’s starting pitcher, Mike Lutz, who pitched a complete-game win during the team’s spring break trip to Branson, Mo. last week, allowed four runs and seven hits through four innings. His counterpart, Ben Maher, went the distance for the Mustangs, improving to 4-0.
Asmann doubled twice for the Bears, driving in the team's only run in the third. Zach Till also had a double for the team’s other extra base hit. Maher allowed only three other hits, all singles. He struck out the side in the fifth, finishing with four k’s, a walk and hit a batter.
Bear Facts: The Bears play at 4:30 p.m., today, April 7, against host Waukegan and then travel to Burlington for a 10 a.m ., Saturday, April 9, game against Central High School.