Baseball making their final push at conference title



Kyle Hauser (’17) makes a throw to first

Ben Clanin, Co-Sports Editor

  Belvidere North baseball is making their final push for the first conference title in school history.  The team is currently 13-3 in conference and they are tied for second place with Hononegah, Harlem currently sits on top of the conference only losing two games in conference all year.  This week the team is taking on some of the top teams in the conference, in the form of Boylan, East, and Hononegah.

    The week started when they traveled to Boylan to face off against the Titans, the first game the two faced each other this season North won on a walkoff single by team MVP Lee Smith (‘16).  Going into that game North was tied for third place in the conference, and Boylan was tied for second.  

    Smith dominated Titans, just like he has dominated other teams all year, he tossed a no hitter against Boylan in seven innings pitched, and the offense backed up his lights out performance with six runs in the sixth inning with two outs. The defense also made some great plays behind Smith, like second basemen Kyle Hauser (‘17) making two highlight reel type diving catches up the middle.

     The team rallied back from a few missteps such as a failed suicide bunt attempt and multiple runners caught stealing, but they never gave up and that led them to a big team victory.  “I think the way that we faced that adversity really proves that this team is something special, a failed suicide bunt would deflate most teams, but we just kept our heads up and kept going,” said Garrett Nelson (‘17).

     After that the guys took on Rockford East at home, it was the last home game of the year for the Blue Thunder and they used the home field to their advantage.  The Blue Thunder quickly got down in the first inning after an error in the outfield cost North two runs.  But the team rallied back and put up two of their own in the second and third innings.  The game then went on all the way into the ninth inning, where Jared Cantu (‘16) drove in the winning run. Team captain Jordan Paulson (‘16) pitched a complete game and did not allow a run after his first inning of work. “He pitched a great game, especially since it went into two extra innings,” said Hauser.