Downers South, Hinsdale South split big doubleheader

By Drake Skleba
Senior Writer

DOWNERS GROVE – First place in the West Suburban Conference Gold Division was on the line Saturday morning. Downers Grove South (8-3; 4-1) and Hinsdale South (7-2; 4-1) were tied atop the WSC Gold standings heading into the twin-bill on Saturday.

Downers Grove South won the opener in thrilling fashion 7-6. Trailing 6-5 in the bottom of the sixth, Mustang senior shortstop Kevin Raher hammered what turned out to be a game-winning two-run bomb. It was the second home run of the game for Raher, who hit a solo-shot in the third.

Hinsdale South bounced back from the heart-breaking game one loss in a big way, crushing the Mustangs 11-1 in six-innings. Hornet junior SS Don Buonavolanto was a double shy of hitting for the cycle, driving in four runs to lead the Hornets to the split and back into a first-place tie with the Mustangs.

Game 1

Downers Grove South 7, Hinsdale South 6

It was the Kevin Raher Show in game one. The Mustang senior shortstop hammered a pair of home runs, including the game-winner and drove in three to lead DGS past the Hornets. Senior right-hander Nick Alfini (4-0) pitched a 1 1/3 innings of shutout relief to pick up the win.

Downers Grove South got on the board in the first inning on RBI double by junior second baseman Joe Becht. Hinsdale South’s D.J. Deolitsis tied the game at 1-1 with an RBI single in the third.

The Mustangs scored four times in the bottom of the third. Raher led off the inning with a solo-shot to left. Junior Matt Zinnecker ripped a two out, two-run single to extend the Mustang lead to 5-1.

The Hornets scored two unearned runs in the fourth to close to 5-3. Deolitsis (3-for-4, 2 RBI, SB), and Buonavolanto had RBI singles, to tie the game at 5-5. The Hornets would take the lead 6-5 on Mustang miscue.

In the Hornet sixth with two on and two out, Mustang junior centerfielder Danny Spinuzza made a diving circus catch robbing Hornet Mike Rizzo of extra bases and two runs.

Spinuzza led off the bottom of the sixth with a double and moments later scored on Raher’ two-run bomb.

“It’s funny that I always do well against Hinsdale South,” said Raher. “As a freshman I had a two-homer game against them. I know all of those guys over there, having played ball with them my whole career.”

Mustang senior right hander Nick Alfini (4-0), who relieved Mustang starting pitcher Brian Glowicki (Minnesota) in the sixth, gave up a one-out single to Hornet senior right-hander Matt Reschke. Alfinii then induced a game ending 4-6-3 double-play to end this thriller.

“I really liked the way we battled back against adversity today,” said Downers Grove South head coach Darren Orel. “Kevin Raher was outstanding for us. We must play better defense in the second game to compete.”

Game 2
Hinsdale South 11, Downers Grove South 1

The Hornets scored three runs in the top of the first and never looked back, destroying the Mustangs in game two in six innings. Buonavolanto ripped a two-run triple to highlight the Hornets three-run first. All three runs against Mustang starting pitcher Zach Taylor were unearned.

In the fourth the Hornets put this one away with a seven-run explosion. Hornet third baseman Jerry Stoltz singled to lead off the inning. It would be the first of two singles Stoltz would have in the inning. Stoltz scored on an RBI double from Hornet junior Joe Jablonski.

Hornet left-fielder Mike Meyers followed with an RBI single. Meyers was 4-for-6 for the afternoon. Deolitsis followed with a booming two-run triple. Rizzo had an RBI single. Back-to back bombs from Buonavolanto (two-run) and Hornet starting and winning pitcher Matt Reschke (solo), concluded the scoring.

“I had a horrible first game today and had to make it up to my teammates in the second game,” said Buonavolanto. “I’m very happy to have hit the ball so well and that we were able to get the split.”

Downers Grove South would score their lone run in the bottom of the fifth. The Hornets would add their 11th run on an RBI double from Mike Marrera.

Reschke allowed six hits and one run in his solid six-inning performance to pick up the win.

“I pitched well tonight, but I felt I should have made some better pitches in spots,” said Reschke. “It was sure nice to have 11 runs of support. It makes it a lot easier on the mound.”

So after four hours of baseball, the Hornets and Mustangs are right where they started the day, tied atop the West Suburban Conference Gold Division standings. Head over to Hinsdale South at 4:30 on Monday for the crucial rubber-match of this early-season series.

“I was really proud of the kids for the way they bounced back from that tough loss in game one,” said Hinsdale South head coach Paul Hoel. “Matt pitched great for us and Donny showed everyone how good a hitter he is. Big game on Monday back home in Darien.

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