No. 9 Nazareth Sweeps ESCC Twinbill At St. Viator



By Ryan Quigley
Illinois Scouting Director

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL – No. 9 Nazareth swept an East Suburban Catholic Conference doubleheader on the campus of St. Viator on Saturday afternoon.

Game 1: Nazareth 13, St. Viator 5

The Roadrunners exploded for seven runs in the second inning posting seven consecutive hits with one out to take an early 9-1 lead they’d never relinquish.

Junior right-hander Brandon Bossard earned the win on the mound, throwing five innings, allowing six hits, two earned runs with six strikeouts and one walk. Bossard also went 2-for-3 at the plate with a double, three RBI and a walk.

Senior left fielder Matt Flach was the offensive star for the Roadrunners going 4-for-5 with three singles, three runs scored, and a two-run homer to cap the scoring in the seventh. Junior catcher Shane Gipson went 2-for-4 with a homer, two RBI, and a walk. Senior right fielder Ryan Kramer also added two hits and a double.

For St. Viator, junior outfielder Dan Sullivan went 2-for-3 with a home run, a walk, two RBI, and two runs scored.

Game 2: Nazareth 5, St. Viator 3

Nazareth rallied late with a three run sixth inning to win the second game of the doubleheader on Saturday at St. Viator 5-3.

St. Viator took an early lead off Nazareth senior lefthander Donald Kelly, thanks to a two-run double to right field off the bat of junior outfielder Dan Sullivan in the top of the first. Kelly loaded the bases with two outs on consecutive hit batsmen, but escaped further damage with a swinging strikeout, something he’d do throughout the day.

Kelly threw five innings of three run baseball on four hits with six strikeouts, five walks, and three hit batsmen. He stranded seven St. Viator runners.

Nazareth coach Lee Milano said, “Kelly struggled, but he avoided the big inning and that’s what we preach to our pitchers. He got the big outs when he needed to and he helped us by eating up innings.”

The Roadrunners added a run in the bottom of the first to make it 2-1 on a Kyle Kane (2-for-3, two doubles, three RBI) RBI-double down the left field line scoring leadoff man Carson Bartels, who had walked.

St. Viator extended the lead to 3-1 in the third when Kelly walked in a run with the bases loaded. Junior outfielder Michael Raguaskis (1-for-2, two walks, two stolen bases) scored. As he did in the first, Kelly avoided further damage with a huge, bases-loaded strikeout to end the inning.

Nazareth added a run in the fifth on a Ryan Kramer double to right center scoring senior outfielder Matthew Wilson, who singled earlier in the inning, to cut the lead to 3-2.

St. Viator senior righthander George Burny kept the Nazareth offense off balance for five innings, impressing with a three pitch mix and a late breaking slider to notch five strikeouts with three walks. Burny finally ran into trouble in the bottom of the sixth (Nazareth was the home team in the second game of a conference double header), walking leadoff man Carson Bartels. Shane Gipson singled to right to put runners on first and second with one out. As he did earlier in the game, junior first baseman and cleanup hitter Kyle Kane delivered the clutch hit for Nazareth, a two-run double off the wall in center field to give the Roadrunners a 4-3 lead.

Matt Wilson (2-for-3, run scored, RBI), who entered the game in the sixth in relief of Kelly, added an insurance run with his RBI single scoring Kane. Wilson threw two scoreless innings to earn the win in relief, capping the day with a strikeout in the seventh with the tying runs on base.

Ben Dickey added two hits with a walk and a run scored for the Lions.

Milano added, “Matt Wilson has surprised some people this year. He came in hitting .550, had two hits in the second game and closed out the win for us. Kyle Kane and Matt Flach had big days at the plate for us.”

Nazareth improves to 11-1, 2-0 in ESCC play. The Roadrunners take on Joliet Catholic on Monday and Wednesday in ESCC action. It’s a rematch of the summer state championship won by Joliet Catholic, and although early in the conference schedule will have ESCC title implications. Monday’s game is at Joliet Catholic, Wednesday at RJ Sanders Baseball Field on the Nazareth campus. Both games are 4:30 starts.

The Lions drop to 8-4 overall, 0-2 in ESCC play. St. Viator goes to Carmel on Monday, then hosts the Corsairs on Wednesday, both games are 4:30 starts.

More in-depth scouting notes will be added to the Illinois Scout Blog later.

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