Prep Baseball Report

No. 16 JCA hammers IVC in five

By Sean Duncan

JOLIET – Early this season, No. 16 Joliet Catholic Academy had been struggling to score runs.

Not anymore.

On Monday afternoon, the Hilltoppers hammered one of the state’s top Class 2A programs, Illinois Valley Central, to a tune of 13-1 in five innings.

JCA (7-3) snatched any suspense in the first inning, when it pushed 10 runs across behind nine hits. Junior first baseman Ryan Peter rapped the first IVC pitch for a single, and the route was on. The Hilltoppers didn’t stop until they sent 15 batters to the plate in the first inning.

JCA’s first-inning outburst followed Saturday’s 15-0 whitewash of Plainfield East.

“It’s good to see the last couple games we’ve put some runs on the board,” said JCA coach Jared Voss. “I do think we’re a better offensive team than what we’ve shown. We’ve been rotating the lineup and we’re getting contributions from a lot of guys.”

Against the visitors from Chillicothe, the contributions were many. Senior right fielder Nate Searing led the way with a 3-for-3 day, which included two doubles and five RBI. In the first inning alone, Searing drove in four runs with a two-run double and a two-run single. Searing’s two-run double in the first was followed by freshman Nick Dalesandro’s two-run single.

Senior second baseman Zach Melone went 3-for-3, including two hits in the first inning, and scored three runs. Junior shortstop Chris Tschida went 2-for-2 with a walk and three runs scored.

The offense was more than enough for junior right-hander Cal Placher (1-1), who allowed two hits in five innings. Placher struck out three, walked one and hit two batters. Later in the day, the Hilltoppers were scheduled to play Minooka.

For IVC, which is perennially one of the best teams in Central Illinois, junior third baseman Mitch Meyers tallied a double in the first inning.