Prep Baseball Report

No. 12 Lincoln-Way West shuts out No. 27 Homewood-Flossmoor

By Ryan Quigley
Area Scout – Illinois

No. 12 Lincoln-Way West (1-0) 4, No. 27 Homewood-Flossmoor (0-1) 0

MANHATTAN, IL – Game-time temperature in the low 40’s - with no help from 25 mph gusting winds - still couldn’t ruin the debut of two of the top area 2015 right-handed arms squaring off in the opener for both clubs. The preseason No. 12 ranked Lincoln-Way West Warriors edged No. 27 Homewood-Flossmoor 4-0 behind a quality pitching performance from junior RHP Steve Skolarz (Indiana commit) and the shut-down relief of senior  Luke Morgan (Southern Alabama recruit). Despite taking the loss, junior Kentucky commit Jeremy Orbik showed well in his four innings of work.

Both pitchers came out firing in the first inning. Skolarz was in trouble from the start as H-F senior SS Kendall King (Western Illinois) was drilled by the opening pitch and promptly stole second on a delay.  To escape trouble, Skolarz struck out the next three batters, highlighted by climbing the ladder on H-F three-hole hitter and 2015 catching prospect Jesse Forestell with an 89-mph fastball. The strikeout began a streak of six consecutive for the big righty, who finished the day with eight punch outs, giving up one hit, and one walk. Orbik let the leadoff hitter aboard as well, via the walk, only to make a nifty play to start a 1-6-3 double play on the next hitter.  

Lincoln-Way West would get to Orbik in the bottom half of the second, scoring the only runs they’d need all day.  Unsigned senior DH/OF Zach Speaker led off the frame with a sharp liner up the middle, followed by a Dan Brokop double to deep left field on an Orbik slider left up in the zone. Sophomore third-baseman Ryan Hastings inside-outed an 87 mph fastball in on his hands into right field for a two-RBI single. Hastings finished 2-for-3 on the day with two singles. Orbik was impressive in the loss, finishing off his four innings giving up two earned runs on four hits with four strikeouts and three base on balls.

Skolarz tired at the beginning of the fourth, but senior SS/RHP Luke Morgan took over where he left off, firing 3.2 innings of scoreless relief, holding the Vikings to one hit with one strikeout.  Morgan helped his cause with an RBI triple in the fifth to right-center field off H-F relief. 

The Warriors would tack on extra insurance in the sixth as sophomore shortstop Adam Knerr, who finished the day 1-for-2 with a walk and scored on a 2-out Vikings throwing error.

Statistical Highlights

+ Skolarz and Morgan combined to give up only two hits, strikeout nine, with one walk and two HBP.

+ Skolarz left early due to pitch count with two outs in the fourth, but at one point struck out eight of nine batters (six in a row at one point) in a stretch between the first and third innings. He finished with a line of 3.2 IP, 8K, 1H, 1BB, 1HBP.

+ Morgan pitched 3.1 innings of scoreless relief and ended the day 1-for-3 with the RBI triple in the fifth.

+ H-F outfielder Zach Taylor recorded the only Viking hits, finishing 2-for-3 on the day with a single and double.

CLICK HERE for complete scouting reports on all of the standout performances. 

Related Content