by Mike Woolf
The Benedictine baseball team started off slow this season, but have recently picked it up in a big way.
“I think the big difference has been slowing the game down and sticking to the basics,” said junior outfielder Tim Hendricks about the turnaround.
The Eagles completed a sweep of Lakeland in a double header on the road, winning 4-0 and 7-2 on Tuesday. In the first game, senior pitcher Nick Diessner threw a complete game shutout, allowing just three hits and one walk while striking out eight. Benedictine took advantage of a couple mistakes from the Muskies, including a wild pitch in the first and an error in the seventh, which both led to runs.
In the second game, Hendricks knocked in a couple of runs with a single in the fourth and a double in the eighth. Senior first baseman Ryan Mullin had a pair of RBIs as well, and freshman Alex Wolfe did not allow an earned run in 5.1 innings of work after getting the start.
“We’ve jelled together and our fielders are making plays. We’ve really come together since coming back from the start we had in Florida,” said junior pitcher Chris Jordan.
The Eagles hosted Wisconsin Lutheran on Saturday and again took both games of the double header by the scores of 4-1 and 10-4. Jordan set the tone in the first game, giving Benedictine 7.2 innings of work, allowing six hits and no earned runs while striking out five. Hendricks and Brandon Villanueva each had a pair of RBIs for the Eagles.
In the second game, senior outfielder Mike Luschen and sophomore catcher Justin Kovalsky each drove in three runs to lead the offense for Benedictine. Junior Mike Irgang tossed 7.1 innings, giving up three earned runs on eight hits.
The sweep of Wisconsin Lutheran makes it nine wins in the last 10 games for the Eagles.
A double header was set to be played against Aurora University on Sunday, but the games were postponed due to the weather. Benedictine plays next on Wednesday at home against Illinois Wesley University at 6:30 p.m.