Athlete of the Week
Ridout threw six innings and allowed four hits as the Skyhawks defeated Hampshire, 3-0, Wednesday in a Fox Valley Conference Fox Division game.
Ridout was lifted in the seventh inning for Scott Sompel, who finished the shutout. Ridout struck out five and walked one to move to 5-0.
Ridout also played a key role in the Skyhawks’ offense as he doubled and scored on Kevin Kordik’s infield hit in the first inning. Then, leading off the fourth inning, Ridout walked and stole second base and scored Johnsburg’s next run.
Hampshire coach John Sarna warned his team before the game that it would be seeing one of the best pitchers in northern Illinois.
“The only way to be effective against Collin is to get to him early,” Sarna said.
The Whip-Purs could not do that as Ridout threw six strong innings.
Flying high: Jacobs leads the Fox Valley Conference Valley Division with a 10-1 record, 1 1/2 games ahead of Huntley. Golden Eagles coach Jamie Murray likes what he has seen from his team in many different aspects.
“We’re a close group, a selfless group and we have some talent,” Murray said. “We’re confident, but not in a cocky way. We just expect to win.”
Jacobs finished sixth in the FVC Valley last season, but also was the last area team standing after winning the first sectional baseball championship in school history. There are some returning players from that team – Ben Murray, Grant Kale, Danny Vandewalker, Reilly Peltier and Ryan Sargent played integral roles – and others who have stepped into bigger roles this year.
Peltier, Tim Hubner and sophomore Brenden Heiss have been the top three starters, and now Sargent, coming back from an upper back strain, is back in the rotation. Jake Jemmi is 4 for 4 in save opportunities and has not allowed a run as closer.
“This group is as talented as last year,” Jamie Murray said. “We have a chance to do some great things. Murray and Kale have been great leaders, and our junior class lost something like eight games in two seasons [as underclassmen]. We expect to win.”
D-C looks dandy: Dundee-Crown sits at 10-10 overall, 7-3 in the FVC Valley, which is already three more conference wins than last season. The Chargers were 11-18, 4-15 last year, but advanced to the Class 4A Huntley Sectional championship game, where they lost to Jacobs.
"They have been working hard on their skills," D-C coach Jon Anderson said. "They've been able to see from last year, the things that we needed to work on. They've taken instruction well and are doing the things we are asking them to do, which has results in success."
D-C was well out of the division race last year at this point but is in the thick of this year's race at 2 1/2 games back.
"We aren't worried about what other teams are doing," Anderson said. "We need to continue to play the game, do the little things that are needed to do. If we go out and win games, the standings will take care of themselves."
Schneider's tough luck: Harvard junior Peyton Schneider has experienced some misfortune in pitching duels this season. Last week, Schneider struck out 13 and allowed two hits against Alden-Hebron but took a 3-2 loss. In that game, the Giants’ Cody Nelson struck out nine and allowed one earned run in seven innings.
On April 17, Schneider was on the mound when Richmond-Burton’s Mike Kaska fired a 17-strikeout no-hitter at the Hornets. Schneider fanned nine and allowed four hits and one earned run in that 1-0 loss.
Interesting week: McHenry is 15-6 after an eventful week that saw it drop two to Cary-Grove, then win with a wild comeback against Woodstock, 8-7, scoring seven runs in the bottom of the seventh.
The Warriors then, on the day after prom, almost dealt Mundelein its second loss of the season, only to allow four runs in the bottom of the seventh and lose, 6-5, on Saturday. Mundelein moved to 24-1 with the win.
This week’s top games
Richmond-Burton vs. Burlington Central
Tuesday and Thursday
Burlington leads the BNC East at 6-1, while R-B is right behind at 7-2. The leaders meet at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at Burlington, then have the rematch at 4:30 p.m. Thursday in Richmond.
McHenry vs. Jacobs
Friday and Saturday
Jacobs leads the FVC Valley Division, and McHenry is one of its closest pursuers. They play at 4:30 p.m. Friday at Jacobs, then meet again at 10 a.m. Saturday at Petersen Park in McHenry.
– Joe Stevenson