Young's dominance earns Carmel a split with Benet



By Sean Duncan

MUNDELEIN – Stellar pitching performances were on full display during the Carmel-Benet Academy doubleheader Saturday.

In the first game, Benet senior right-hander Bobby Hayes threw a two-hitter to lead the Redwings to a 2-1 victory. Carmel bounced back in the second game behind its ace left-hander Alex Young, who straight shoved in the Corsairs’ 7-0 victory to stay in the hunt for the East Suburban Catholic Conference title. Carmel trails Joliet Catholic Academy by a game.

On a chilly, wet afternoon, Young came out hot after the Corsairs (17-9, 9-3) watched Benet (16-13, 8-6) score two runs in the final two innings to steal Game 1. The 6-foot-3, 185-pound Young was dominant in his six innings. He yielded two hits, both singles, struck out nine and walked three.

Young’s fastball, which runs like a Kenyan marathoner, sat in the 88-90 mph range throughout his six innings work. He also was working a power 78-80 mph curveball in any count. In the third inning alone, Young struck out four batters, and he bumped a few 90s in the sixth when he wanted to.

“I feel like I’m in control out there,” said Young, who’s committed to Texas Christian University. “This year is completely different. I’ve worked a lot on my command, and I have much more confidence in all my pitches.”

Young, who’s currently ranked No. 4 in the Class of 2012, was used sparingly early in the season, but has since been lights out. He entered the game with a 0.24 ERA, having allowed only six hits with 51 strikeouts in 28.2 innings. He now looks to be the premier high school draft option in Illinois.

“Alex knows how to use his stuff,” said Carmel coach Joe May. “He can throw that curveball in any count; it’s almost unfair.”

Carmel’s offense gave Young plenty of room for error in the second game. The Corsairs scored four runs in the second inning to make it 5-0. Leadoff man Brian Brennan delivered a two-run single in the inning, and junior first baseman Duncan Amrein (2-for-4) also had a run-scoring single.

Junior outfielder Sean Brennan led the Corsairs by going 3-for-4 with a double and RBI, and senior second baseman Blake Bucsa went 2-for-3 with a run-scoring double. Young also added two hits.

Sophomore right-hander Quinten Sefcik, who’s verbally committed to the University of Illinois, pitched the seventh, showing an 83-87 mph fastball. Sefick struck out two and walked three in the inning.

Young’s dominant performance was needed after the Corsairs watched Benet rally in the late innings to steal the win. With junior right-hander Matt Ryan working a shutout through five, Benet sophomore Chris Whelan led off the sixth with a single, and came around to tie the game at 1-1 on Sam Santa Maria’s slicing RBI double down the right-field line.

Benet scored the game-winner when Whelan walked with the bases loaded in the top of the seventh.

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