North baseball begins the conference season


Ben Clanin, Co-Sports Editor

    Belvidere North was predicted by the Rockford Register Star to win the NIC-10 Conference in the 2017 season, and on April 10 the Blue Thunder began their quest for their first conference championship.  Their season began against Guilford at Guilford where they took on the Vikings in their first conference game. Garrett Nelson (‘17) started the game on the mound and was dominant through six and one thirds innings, walking only one batter and striking out nine. Adam Veruchi (‘17) came in for the save and retired the last two batters with runners on first and second.  The game was well fought on both sides as the final score ended up being 3-2, with RBI’s coming from Evan Waddell (‘18), Holden Paddock (‘20), and Brock Ashens (‘19).

     Next the Blue Thunder hosted the reigning conference champions Harlem Huskies. Harlem is predicted to finish behind Belvidere North this year. North came out swinging and took a commanding 5-0 lead.  Arthur Vinkie (‘18)  pitched an absolute gem and only allowed one run through seven complete innings. Vinkie held Harlem to only seven hits, no extra base hits, while striking out one. The final score against the Huskies ended up being 5-1.

     The third game North played was against Freeport, which was a game where errors and walked plagued the Blue Thunder.  North ended up losing to the Pretzels 4-3 after North failed to put the ball in play after having the bases loaded in the top of the seventh with only one out.  The loss to Freeport put North at 2-1 through their first week of conference play which positioned them in second place in the conference behind Boylan High School.

     North bounced back in the beginning of the second week though, they faced Auburn on Monday, a game in which they easily handled the Knights with a final score of 5-1 in which Nelson threw another gem in which he allowed no earned runs and pitched the full seven innings.

     Then on Wednesday they went to Jefferson to face the J-Hawks.  Jefferson is in the basement of the NIC-10 and they havent won a game yet in the conference season.  The Blue Thunder put them away with a final score of 12-3 and moving to 4-1 on the year.  On Friday North faces their cross-town rivals in Belvidere High School, who is fourth in the conference with a 3-2 record.