No. 10 Lincoln-Way North Gets Comeback Win Over No. 11 Carl Sandburg

By Steve Nielsen
Scouting Supervisor - Illinois/Wisconsin

No. 10 Lincoln-Way North 8, No. 11 Carl Sandburg 6

ORLAND PARK, IL - The No. 10 ranked Phoenix (19-3) rolled into No. 11 Sandburg (15-2) on Wednesday setting up a match-up of the top two teams in the Southwest Suburban Conference as well as the state. Lincoln-Way North was sending highly regarded sophomore southpaw Dan Zimmerman to the mound in his first big start of the year, but it was senior southpaw Ian VanWitzenburg who stole the show and led the Phoenix to their 19th win of the season.

The Eagles jumped out to an early 6-0 lead before Lincoln-Way North could even catch their breath. The first seven hitters of the game reached safely, starting with Andy Gaytan’s lead off single and finished off by a Mike Dahlgren single. That’s when the Phoenix had to call to the bullpen and VanWitzenburg took it from there.

VanWitzenburg faced the minimum over the next 16 outs, erasing the only two base hits allowed via double play balls. As the Phoenix crawled back into the game, VanWitzenburg finished with seven innings pitched allowing no runs while scattering two hits, one walk and striking out two.

As VanWitzenburg held the Eagles at bay, the top of the Lincoln-Way North lineup set the table for a pair of three run innings. Ben Troike and Tom Szczasny ignited both three-run rallies in the fourth and fifth innings as the duo combined for a 4-for-7 day at the plate scoring four runs and coaxing three base on balls.

The Phoenix took the lead in the fifth on a Luke Bertolani sacrifice fly and later tacked on an insurance run in the sixth by way of a balk.

No. 10 Lincoln-Way North improved to 19-3 on the year while the No. 10 Eagles dropped their second contest for a 15-2 record on the season. On Thursday the Phoenix travel to Andrew and Sandburg will play host to Bolingbrook.

Statistical Highlights

  • Ben Troike (Lincoln-Way North) 2-3, 2B, 2R, 2BB

  • Tom Szczasny (Lincoln-Way North) 2-4, 2R, 1BB

  • Ian VanWitzenburg (Lincoln-Way North) 7IP, 2H, 0R, 2K, 1BB

  • Sean McShane (Carl Sandburg) 1-2, 2B, 2RBI, 1R

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