No. 3 Lincoln-Way East plates eight late, wins SWSC opener


Tino Abarca
Staff Writer

FRANKFORT, Ill. – No. 3 Lincoln-Way East hosted Homewood-Flossmoor to open Southwest Suburban Conference play for both squads. East took over in the fifth, sending 11 men to the plate, scoring eight of them and ending the game in a 10-0 shutout.

Each sent a Big Ten-bound pitcher to the bump as the Griffins gave Cole Kirschsieper (Illinois commit) the nod, and the Vikings sent Isaiah Coupet (Ohio State) to the hill.

Kirschsieper gave up a lead-off single to Tre Hondras (Michigan) but settled in retiring the next six hitters. In total, he allowed just three hits on the day – all singles.

East plated their first run in the bottom of the opening frame with a Tyler Safarik (Uncommitted, 2019) 2-out double, scoring Jack Bertolani, who had pinch ran for catcher Ryan McCoy (Uncommitted, 2020). Safarik, again in the third caused some 2-out damage with a single to left and plating another run to make it 2-0, Griffins.

Still a close game in the middle innings, Kirschsieper was cruising and stymied the biggest threat that H-F gave him in the fourth. Tyrone Simpson (Robert Morris) singled to start the frame. His pinch-runner, Cecil Archbold (Uncommitted, 2020), stole a pair of bags to put him at third, but Kirschsieper would strike out the next two to end the inning holding the Vikings scoreless.

In the bottom of the fifth, the Griffins shut the door scoring eight runs to end it in early fashion. Matt Watson (Uncommitted, 2019) started the inning with a single, then scored on Ryan Ritter’s (Austin Peay) knock to right field. Dan DeCero scored two on his double and Watson eventually came around to hit again, driving a double to the left-center gap to plate another pair.

East improved to 13-1; 1-0 on the year, while the Vikings drop to 5-8; 0-1. The two will square off again on Friday in Flossmoor to finish the home-and-home series.

Highlights:

Kirschsieper: 5 IP, 3 H, 7 K, 0 BB.

Watson: 2-for-3 with a single and double. 2 RBI

Safarik: 2-for-2 with a single, double. 2 RBI

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