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Senior Ryan Stuursma pitched five innings of no-hit ball against Aurora Christian on May 11. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Senior Ryan Stuursma pitched five innings of no-hit ball against Aurora Christian on May 11. Photo by Jeff Vorva

High School Baseball: Knights crank it up after loss

STUURSMA scaled

Senior Ryan Stuursma pitched five innings of no-hit ball against Aurora Christian on May 11. Photo by Jeff Vorva

By Jeff Vorva
Correspondent

Chicago Christian lost a baseball game on May 6.

It was a bitter 6-5 setback to rival Illiana Christian, a school that moved to Indiana and is no longer in the same conference, but can still rile up the Knights.

Chicago Christian was 10-0 at the time.

“That lost hurt,” senior Ryan Stuursma said. “After that, we had to step it up a bit.”

Boy, did the Knights step up after that.

The next eight games after the setback were impressive as they went 8-0 while outscoring their opponents 69-12.

The streak included a 6-2 victory over Class 4A standout St. Rita on May 14, and three straight shutouts, one of which is one of the more unusual no-hitters a fan is going to see.

In a home game against Aurora Christian, Stuursma fired five innings of no-hit ball. Tommy Schaaf kept the no-hitter alive in the sixth, but had problems with his control and left the game with a bases-loaded, two-out situation in the seventh.

Johnny Dieck came in and immediately induced a lineout to first base to end the 4-0 victory, but there was no wild celebration for the no-hitter.

“It’s hard to celebrate a no-hitter when the game ends with a bases loaded,” said Stuursma, who made three catches in center field in the final two innings after his pitching work was done.

Baseball CC SEDAKIS

Zach Sedakis slides into third base after leading off a game against Aurora Christian with a triple. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Some of the other highlights in the post-loss streak included:

— Adam Brouwer striking out 12 batters and homering in a 7-0 victory over Immaculate Conception.

— Jon Castor throwing a shutout in a 6-0 victory at Aurora Christian with Schaaf and Zach Sedakis homering.

— Dieck driving in two of the four runs and picking up a save in the no-hitter game.

— Jacob Schaafsma throwing four scoreless innings in a 9-3 victory over Elmwood Park. Sedakis homered, Dieck scored three times and Adam Stuursma drove in two runs.

— Brouwer helping slow the St. Rita bats in a 6-2 stunner. Schaaf, Brouwer and Sam Vis each had two hits in the win.

The Knights, a Class 2A program, owns wins this spring over larger schools St. Rita, Stagg, Richards and Andrew.

The postseason assignments were released, and regional and sectional sites will be determined by the higher seeds. Chicago Christian’s sectional will feed into the Illinois Wesleyan Supersectional.

Baseball CC Schaaf scaled

Chicago Christian senior Tommy Schaaf pitched 1 2/3 innings in the Knights’ combined no-hitter against Aurora Christian. Photo by Jeff Vorva

The Knights are in a sub-sectional with Beecher, Clifton Central, Joliet Catholic Academy, Bishop McNamara, Manteno, Momence, Peotone, Watseka and Wilmington.

Stuursma, who was in the stands for several games when his older brother, Matthew, played for the 2017 Knights team that finished third in the state in Class 2A, is looking forward to this postseason.

“Based on how we’re playing right now, we can make a run at it.” he said.

Take away that Illiana Christian loss, and it’s been a near perfect season.

“We gave away six runs on errors in two innings,” Knights coach Bob Schaaf said. “Other than two innings, it’s been a good year.”

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