PLAINFIELD – A four-run inning by the Plainfield Central baseball team in its home opener against Morris proved to be the difference on Tuesday afternoon. Taking advantage of a couple of miscues, then stringing four straight hits together against the ace of the Redskins, the Wildcats picked up their first win of the season, 6-3.
“It’s always good to get the first one because then you can relax a little bit,” Plainfield Central coach John Rosner said. “It reiterates the hard work that you put in. It’s nice to see it carry over onto the field. It’s nice to finally be able to get out onto our home field and get a win.”
Leading 1-0 against Morris senior righty Tim Smyk, two errors after one out opened the door for those four straight hits, as the game changed suddenly. All four runs in the frame charged to Smyk were unearned as a result.
“I think we’re already over it, but yeah it bothers me. It bothers me a great deal,” Morris coach Todd Kein said of the fifth-inning errors. “I don’t think we represented ourselves today the way we should. I did not see a traditional, hard-nosed Morris team out there today. You are going to have ups and downs throughout the season, but I would like to see us represent ourselves with a little more toughness, a little bit more grit, a little bit more heart and desire.”
After the two errors by Morris, Plainfield Central strung consecutive hits together by Matt Ryan, Austin Blazevic, Nate Paprota and Simon Leclair to break the game open.
“That’s the name of the game basically – timely hitting,” Rosner said. “We didn’t do that yesterday [a 7-4 loss to West Chicago], but today we took advantage of the mistakes that they [Redskins] made and came up with the big hit with the bases loaded.”
Morris’ lone runs in the game came off the bat of Tom Cheshareck, who hit a three-run homer in the sixth for the Redskins.
“Cheshareck put a good swing on the bat but the team needs to be squaring up balls like that consistently,” Kein said. “Hopefully that shows up tomorrow.”
Despite giving up the blast, Plainfield Central starter Austin Blazevic was the winning pitcher. He was relieved by Jake Anderson and Kyle Kudla, who got the save.
“He’s [Blazevic] going to do that all the time. I don’t know if he is going to overpower people, but as long as he’s down in the zone, he has a pretty good breaking ball,” Rosner said of Blazevic. “And as long as we play good defense behind him, he’s going to have the chance to get some wins.”
Smyk was the losing pitcher. He was relieved by Cody Niewinski in the sixth.
“Until the inning when they got up 5-0 on us, I thought Tim pitched a pretty good ballgame,” Kein said. “We certainly did not help him. We did not help him offensively and had miscues defensively that kept things alive for them. You can’t give good competition breathing room like that.”