Brother Rice pitcher Dylan Warda fires a pitch against Sandburg on March 22 in Orland Park. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)
Area Sports Roundup: Brother Rice riding in style; Evergreen Park’s Lily Strand fans 27
By Jeff Vorva
For some games, Brother Rice arrives in style.
On March 22, the Crusaders opened a few eyes when they arrived in Orland Park on a charter bus for a non-conference game against Sandburg.
“We’ve had problems with the timing of getting a bus and sometimes 3:45 is the earliest we can get one,” Crusaders coach Sean McBride said. “For these faraway games, the school is supporting our program and is able to get us a bus.
“It’s not every game, but the games you have to drive quite a distance, we get one of those. We’re not trying to be fancy. Hopefully we can keep winning so we can keep them.”
If they keep playing like they did the first seven games of the season, the Crusaders may each be driven to games via a chauffeur and limousine.
Brother Rice, ranked second in the state behind Huntley in the Prep Baseball Report preseason rankings, opened the season with an 11-1 victory over Homewood-Flossmoor (ranked fourth in the state by PBR), an 8-0 victory over St. Patrick and a 16-0 triumph over Sandburg.
That domination was the lead-in even greater success on a more high-profile platform.
They won four games in Georgia on a trip that opened up with a 7-5, extra-inning victory over IMG Academy (Bradenton, Florida), which was unbeaten and ranked second in the nation by Perfect Game. No Illinois teams were in the top 50.
Senior Jack Lausch, who is heading to Northwestern on a football scholarship, hit a walk-off, two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth after pitcher Jacob Fenton kept the Florida power scoreless in the top of the inning.
Next was a 7-3 win over Montverde Academy (Florida). Lausch and Zion Rose drove in fourth-inning runs to help give the Crusaders some breathing room.
There wasn’t much breathing room against Baylor (Tennessee), which Rice beat 2-1 when a Baylor hurler balked in the winning run.
They wrapped up the trip March 26 with an 8-6 win over Riverdale (Tennessee). Amir Gray belted a two-run homer.
Returning to the Land of Lincoln, the Crusaders figure to contend for a Class 4A title. Last spring, they were a game away from a Final Four appearance when Plainfield East stunned them, 3-0, in a super sectional at Ozinga Park in Crestwood.
Many of the same dangerous hitters are back including Lausch, Fenton (Loras), Rose (Louisville), Gray (Purdue), Will Flanigan (an Iowa Western Community College recruit), Beau Polickey (Heartland Community College) and Nick Daugherty (Maryville).
As if that’s not enough, uncommitted junior Bryce Nevils and De La Salle transfer and Kansas State recruit Christian Holmes are in the heart of an already meaty order.
Losing college-bound pitchers Mike Bernas (St. Leo), Arturo Mora (Triton) Ben Guzek (Maryville) and Sebastian Barrera (Webster) hurt, but McBride is crossing his fingers that Fenton, Dylan Warda, Josh Sutker, Cole Van Assen and Casey Giemzik can keep opponents at bay.
Aside from many battles in the Chicago Catholic League Blue against the likes of Mount Carmel, St. Rita and St. Laurence, the Crusaders will face strong non-conference teams including a three-game spin in Kentucky to play St. Xavier and Trinity, both of Louisville.
Evergreen Park junior softball pitcher Lily Strand struck out 27 batters in a 14-inning scoreless tie with St. Ignatius on March 21.
She gave up seven hits, walked four and hit two batters in the 207-pitch performance.
While that was a whopping whiff total, it didn’t come close to the IHSA record of 38 set by Rock Island Alleman’s Karen Marie Pena in a 22-inning game against East Moline in 1999, and Lemont’s Suzie Rzegocki’s 38 K showing against Oak Forest in a 20-inning game in 2007.
As for 14-inning games, Pena struck out 31 against Rockridge in 2000 and McHenry’s Nicole Marzano fanned 31 against Round Lake the same season.
Big Knight Sticks
Speaking of big numbers, Chicago Christian’s softball team opened the season with four consecutive wins, beating Reavis, Oak Lawn, Lisle and Argo by the combined score of 59-17.
Against Argo, Jeri Bradford had three hits and drove in four runs. In the win over Lisle, Lizzie Sedakis had three hits and scored three runs. Against Oak Lawn, Sedakis had five hits and drove in four runs while Nikki Swiney had three hits and scored three times. In the Reavis game, Jess Vollan and Scarlett Tully each drove in four runs.
Oak Lawn police defend use of force against teen
Federal lawsuit filed against police department, individual officers By Joe Boyle The 17-year-old who was arrested by Oak Lawn police last week after a brutal encounter with officers after he ran away from a traffic stop was released from the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center Tuesday afternoon. Hadi Abuatelah, of Palos Hills, left the detention…
Yet another artistic triumph for the Boitsov School
By Joan Hadac Your correspondent in Clearing and Garfield Ridge (708) 496-0265 • [email protected] Have you ever been excited about seeing a great film, concert, stage performance or sporting event—so much so that you marked it in red ink on your calendar, months in advance—only to miss it? That’s what happened to me recently, when I…
Oak Lawn residents enjoy National Night Out
By Joe Boyle A large crowd attended the Oak Lawn National Night Out Tuesday night, which did not surprise Police Chief Dan Vittorio. “We draw large crowds every year,” the Oak Lawn police chief said. “Last year, we had a lot of people, too. The year before that we did not have it because of…
Palos Heights police host National Night Out
By Jeff Vorva Throughout the country, police departments held their National Night Out event on Tuesday. Palos Heights continued its tradition of hosting the event near the police station. Easton Daggy, 4, of Oak Forest gets behind the wheel of a fire truck Tuesday at Palos Heights’ National Night Out.There was plenty to do –…
Palos Hills builds bonds between police, residents at National Night Out
By Kelly White Palos Hills officials are always looking for ways to form bonds between the city and the community. Doing just that, the city held its sixth annual National Night Out event on Tuesday at Town Square Park, 8455 W. 103rd Street. “The city of Palos Hills is again proud to sponsor our annual…
Taste of Orland Park kicks off on Friday
From staff reports The Village of Orland Park’s annual Taste of Orland Park returns to Orland Park Village Center from Friday, August 5, through Sunday, August 7. Now in its 19th year, the Taste of Orland Park showcases Orland Park eateries, community organizations and several bands throughout the weekend. Special events within the fest include…
Obituaries August 4, 2022
SHANNON BRENNAN Shannon Brennan, age 49, passed away July 20. Beloved daughter of Bonnie Brennan; dear sister of Colleen (Carl) Brennan-Powell and Sean (April) Brennan; loving aunt of Kinzie, Kole, Sean Jr. and Nicole. Funeral was held July 28 at St. Daniel the Prophet Church. Visitation was held July 27 at the Richard-Midway Funeral Home…
Ploggers coming to West Elsdon
By Mary Stanek Your correspondent in Archer Heights and West Elsdon 3808 W. 57th Place • (773) 284-7394 Are you ready to go plogging? Yes, plogging is a combination of jogging and picking up garbage. If you live in the area of 54th and Avers, next Saturday, Aug. 13, bring a garbage bag, gloves and/or…
These folks known their lawns
By Peggy Zabicki Your correspondent in West Lawn 3633 W. 60th Place • (773) 504-9327 Have you driven or walked around our neighborhood lately? I have seen so many beautiful flowers and shrubbery. Residents have certainly been busy planting and landscaping, mowing and weeding. There are some lovely gardens and green lawns. West Lawners seem to know a thing…
Back to School sales tax holiday kicks in on Friday
With the start of a new school year fast approaching, state Rep. Fran Hurley is encouraging parents to take advantage of a state sales tax decrease on school supplies, clothing, shoes and other items over a 10-day period from Aug. 5 through Aug. 14. “Back-to-school shopping can sometimes be a real hit on a parent’s…
Regulatory work behind 1 million EV push in full swing in Illinois
By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Ten months after Illinois lawmakers passed the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act which set a goal of putting 1 million electric vehicles on state roads by the end of the decade, state agencies are engaged in a flurry of regulatory planning aimed at meeting those goals.…
10-day sales tax reduction on clothing, school supplies begins Friday
By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Beginning Friday and lasting through Aug. 14, the state will reduce its sales tax rate from 6.25 percent to 1.25 percent for certain clothing items costing less than $125 and school supplies. The “tax holiday” was included in Gov. JB Pritzker’s “family relief plan,” one prong…
Pritzker highlights Rebuild Illinois funding for Cahokia Heights sewers, Rend Lake Resort
By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinoi [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – When state lawmakers voted on bipartisan lines in 2019 to double Illinois’ motor fuel tax and raise several driving-related fees, it laid the groundwork for a $45 billion infrastructure plan, the largest in Illinois’ history and the first in nearly a decade. The plan, spanning six…
CAPITOL RECAP: Democrats choose Hernandez as new party chair
By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – The vote for state Rep. Elizabeth “Lisa” Hernandez as the Democratic Party of Illinois’ first Latino chairwoman was unanimous and uneventful Saturday morning – the drama had occurred in the days prior in a power struggle of some of the state’s most prominent Democrats. Hernandez was backed Gov. JB…
Pritzker: Monkeypox disaster declaration will aid in vaccine distribution
By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker issued a public health emergency declaration and declared Illinois a disaster area in response to the monkeypox virus Monday, a move his office said would help mobilize resources. The governor’s office said the proclamation will aid in moving vaccines to the most impacted…
Dems seek unity as new, former chair take no questions from media after party vote
By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The vote for state Rep. Elizabeth “Lisa” Hernandez as the Democratic Party of Illinois’ first Latino chairwoman was unanimous and uneventful Saturday morning – the drama had occurred in the days prior in a power struggle of some of the state’s most prominent Democrats. Hernandez was…
Democratic Party chair bows out in re-election bid, paving way for state Rep. Lisa Hernandez
By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – A contentious race for leadership of the state’s Democratic Party appears to be down to a single candidate ahead of a Saturday morning vote after the party’s current chair pulled herself from the running Friday. State Rep. Lisa Hernandez, backed by Gov. JB Pritzker and House…
State announces plan for $760 million in opioid settlement money
By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker and Attorney General Kwame Raoul announced plans Friday for how the state will distribute its share of funds from a national settlement with opioid companies. Illinois expects to receive approximately $760 million over 18 years from a $26 billion national settlement with three…
Thompson Center sale finalized with Google to be building’s lone occupant
By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – After years of failed efforts that spanned multiple administrations, the state has finalized the sale of the controversial James R. Thompson Center in Chicago to a company that will make it the new Chicago home of tech giant Google. Gov. JB Pritzker made the announcement during…
CAPITOL RECAP: Illinois Democrats hoping to host 2024 nominating convention
By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Democrats are vying to make Chicago the host city for the Democratic National Convention in 2024. Officials for the Democratic National Committee were in Chicago on Tuesday as state leaders, including Gov. JB Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, called a news conference to tout the city as…