MORRIS — What looked like it might turn into a slugfest Monday after two innings were played by Morris and Yorkville in Northern Illinois Big 12 East action settled into a good, old-fashioned pitcher's duel.
Unfortunately for Morris, Yorkville got the better of the Redskins as the Foxes' Stephen Sewruk held the Redskins scoreless over the final five innings en route to a 5-3 victory.
"Stephen is just a competitor," Yorkville coach Scott Luken said. "He didn't have his best stuff early, but he kept on competing and finally settled into a nice groove. We thought about taking him out in the fifth or sixth, but he was getting stronger as the game went on."
Sewruk allowed two runs in the bottom of the first to Morris (12-8, 1-3), as Danny Borgstrom doubled in Nathan Wantland, who led off the inning with a walk. Later, after a fine throw from center fielder Mark Sommers nailed Jared Lines at home trying to score on a flyout, Tyler Dunne singled home Borgstrom to make it 2-0 Morris after an inning.
Morris sophomore starting pitcher Jacob Overbeck had cruised through the first inning, needing just eight pitches to retire Yorkville in order. The second didn't go quite as smoothly, as the Foxes loaded the bases on a hit better, a single and a walk by the first three batters. Max Warren followed with a two-run single to tie the game before Sewruk bunted the runners to second and third. An error on a ball hit by Dru Kotlinski allowed Jonathon Jungr to score to make it 3-2 and Warren scored on a sacrifice fly to right by Lucas Farren to cap the four-run outburst.
Morris, however, countered in the bottom of the second when Payton Voitik led off with a solo homer to left, but that was the end of the scoring for the Redskins, who finished with just five hits off of Sewruk, who struck out six.
"In conference play against a good team like Yorkville, we can't have innings like we had in the second," Morris coach Todd Kein said. "We were in it from start to finish, but we had a little hiccup to start the second. The hit batter and the walk at the start of the inning both came around to score and that hurt us.
"I liked the way we came out of the gate swinging with a couple in the first, and I thought we had some spark when Payton hit that home run to get us back to within one, but we needed to come up with a big hit in the later innings, and we just didn't do it. We had too many zeroes on the scoreboard tonight."
Overbeck went the distance for the Redskins, allowing just five hits of his own while striking out two and walking one.
"Jacob threw the ball well," Kein said. "He settled in real nice after the one tough inning. He was really in control the rest of the way after that. We just need to find a way to set some runs. There's still a lot of season left, and we still have our crossover week to play in the conference. This is a long way from over."