Making runners count

Caption
(Sarah Nader)
Sarah Nader - snader@shawmedia.com Cary-Grove's Matt Sutherland rounds third base during the second inning of Thursday's game against Woodstock North in Cary. C-G won, 11-1.

CARY – Cary-Grove utilized its economical offense Thursday, the one that gets the most out of every hit.

The Trojans managed five hits and struck out nine times against Woodstock North, but they generated ample offense in other manners – drawing walks and running the bases aggressively.

Junior right-hander Dean Christakes took care of everything else, tossing a five-hitter with six strikeouts at C-G defeated the Thunder, 11-1, in six innings Thursday in their Fox Valley Conference crossover baseball game.

“We didn’t hit like we need to or are capable of, but sometimes that’s the way the day goes,” Trojans coach Don Sutherland said. “Their pitchers walked people and we turned those into doubles with stolen bases. Our kids did a good job running the bases.”

C-G (9-3 overall, 4-0 FVC Valley) took advantage of 12 walks. The Thunder (1-4, 0-3 FVC Fox) also struggled when Trojans runners pressed the issue on the bases.

“I tell our kids, especially against the Valley teams, if you make mistakes, errors, it’s a tough road to go back and beat those guys,” Thunder coach Ian Rago said. “Once we make mistakes, those teams don’t make mistakes, and that’s what hurts us. There’s still some things we need to clean up.”

Daniel Vilardo had a double and triple and two RBIs for the Trojans. Jeremy Vasquez ripped a sharp two-RBI single that ended the game in the sixth inning. Other runs came off sacrifice flies, double steals and a squeeze bunt.

“When we put that pressure on it broke the floodgates open and we were able to get more and more runs,” Vilardo said.

“With these conditions, you have to look for more of a small-ball approach and get walks, get bunts down, do anything you can to get players around.”

Christakes said footing on the mound was decent and gripping the ball, even in a game played through a drizzle, was not bad. He picked up his first varsity victory.

“I thought I did pretty well,” Christakes said. “There were a few mistakes on location, but for the most part I’m just glad the team won. We just try to go up there and challenge them with the fastball and see if they can hit it. We stuck with that and my location was good.”

Christakes struck out six in the first three innings and was backed by errorless defense.

North’s Shane Zieman was 3 for 3 and broke up the shutout in the top of the sixth inning with one of his two doubles.

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