Broncos Win in Pitcher's Duel
Barrington earns key MSL win behind pitcher’s gem.
Following a 1-0 battle with MSL West rival Palatine, head coach Jim Hawrysko was able to joke a bit about his coaching during the game, considering he didn’t feel like he had done much.
“There was a lot of coaching there,” said the Bronco coach lightheartedly about watching his pitcher Frank Waliczek’s complete game performance (7 innings with 2 hits and 12 strikeouts).
“Frank did a great job and that’s what he has done all year for us,” Hawrysko went on to say of the lefty starter. “He just knows how to win.”
Waliczek, who is committed to Heartland Community College in downstate Bloomington-Normal, and the Broncos (16-8, 7-4) found themselves in a pitching duel with Palatine’s Eric Scheuermann (verbally committed to Bradley) as hits were few and far between for both squads during the contest.
“I had all my pitches going today,” Waliczek said. “Hawrysko has been preaching to me to pitch like a pitcher and keep them off balance by using all my pitches in all the counts, and that’s what I did today.”
The only real trouble Waliczek had was the top half of the second when Palatine (9-17, 4-6) was able to see two runners reach base, but Waliczek was able to settle down stranding the runners and getting out of the jam.
That would be Palatine’s only legitimate scoring threat during a tough day at the plate for Palatine. No Pirate runners would advance beyond second base during the game because Barrington’s senior pitcher would control the game, especially by striking out 6 of 9 Pirate hitters during the late innings before relinquishing a single to Palatine’s third baseman in the fifth; however, the would be Pirate runner was quickly gunned down trying to advance on a ball in the dirt by Barrington’s catcher Ryan Lidge.
Scheuermann, garnering as many groundballs as Waliczek’s strikeouts through the middle innings, was able to match Waliczek’s performance allowing only 3 hits throughout the contest, but allowed a long hit to Barrington’s left fielder Aaron Foley to lead off the bottom of the fifth.
“Aaron sat on that pitch and hit it well,” Hawrysko said of Foley’s patience at the plate considering the number of groundouts that were being hit. “If Scheuermann tried to go high, Aaron was ready for it, and he crushed it.”
“Frank was pitching well, we were playing great defense behind him and the hit came at the right,” Foley said of his second homerun this season.
Staked to the one run lead, Waliczek stayed comfortable on the mound and retired the remaining six batters helping the Broncos to the 1-0 victory. The other two Barrington hits against the righty Scheuermann were singles by third baseman Max Redpath and first baseman Justin Dragosz with each runner being left on base.
“A win like this helps a lot,” Foley said of how a victory can help the team moving forward in MSL action. “We are coming off a couple of losses and this was something we needed to get our team back on track.”
Barrington continues conference play and hits the field Wednesday, May 2nd against these same Pirates in Palatine before ending the season later this month with the IHSA playoffs.
“This is what playoff baseball is all about,” Hawrysko said why this was a key victory for Barrington. “You get their number one (pitcher), they see your number one (pitcher), and if you play good defense and get timely hitting, anyone can win.”