Belvidere North baseball gets started

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Ben Clanin, Co-Sports Editor

  The Belvidere North Blue Thunder baseball organization began its season on Monday when the Varsity and JV squads made the road trip out to Harvard to take on the Hornets while the Freshman team traveled to Genoa Kingston.

     The Varsity team started off the season on a high note as they beat the Hornets 11-0 behind a very strong outing by junior Art Vinkie who pitched four scoreless innings in his season debut, while only allowing one hit on eight strikeouts.  Jacob Leutscher (‘19) followed up Vinkie’s four innings and closed out the game with two strikeouts.  The offense was on fire in their first outing, as they strung together eleven runs on nine hits.  Marco Yates (‘18) kickstarted the offense in the third inning with an RBI double that scored Josh Pawlowski (‘17) who led off the inning with a base hit.  After that the offense took off, and in the same inning the Blue Thunder scored three more runs and took an early 4-0 lead. North tacked it on in the fourth scoring four more, and then finished off the Hornets but adding three more runs in the sixth inning.

     The next day the Varsity squad had their home opener against a state-ranked opponent in the Huntley Red Raiders. North came out flat and errors were a big downfall in their 14-3 loss.  There were six errors committed by the Blue Thunder, and that on top of walks led North to their first loss of the year.

    North’s next game was on Thursday the 23rd, when they traveled to Hampshire to take on the the Whip-pers.  North won the game 9-6 after a back and forth battle all game long. The game was called in the bottom of the sixth inning due to lightning. The top of the order for the Blue Thunder stayed hot, producing the majority of North’s runs over this week’s games.  Hitters like Yates, Evan Waddell (‘18), and Kyle Perkins (‘17) have produced very well for the Blue Thunder in the early goings of this season.