Zach Anderson might not be on the outside looking in much longer when it comes to cracking the pitching rotation for Evanston’s baseball team.
The junior right-hander allowed only 1 hit in his 4-inning mound stint and eased to an 11-1 slaughter rule victory over Von Steuben in his debut as a starter for the Wildkits.
“He’s pretty much been in that No. 4 spot, on the outside looking in as far as the rotation goes,” said ETHS head coach Frank Consiglio. “But I know how much he loves to pitch, and he wants to be one of our top three guys. He really cares about pitching.
“He was so efficient today that he definitely took the next step. He needs to do a better job of understanding when to throw his best pitches, because sometimes he uses too much of the plate.”
Consiglio had used only underclassmen on the mound in the first five games for Evanston, now 3-1-1 overall, until senior Eli Otting mopped up with a scoreless inning (and 2 strikeouts) on Wednesday.
The ETHS head coach and his staff will get an extended look at their pitchers on next week’s spring break trip to Florida, as the Kits have scheduled 7 games in 6 days.
Anderson struck out 6 and walked 3 as the Wildkits prevailed in their home opener. The only hit he permitted was an RBI single by Von Steuben catcher Chris Martinez in the first inning.
The Kits got back on track offensively following their only loss and a tie, scoring 11 runs on 10 hits and also taking advantage of the 8 walks issued by three different Panther pitchers. The visitors also committed 4 errors.
Otting continued his torrid hitting, driving in 5 runs with a single and a double and an RBI infield out. Sam Evans, Jack Blanchard and designated hitter James Allen also contributed RBI singles.
Otting, not exactly the fastest runner on the ETHS roster, also displayed his hustle in the three-run Evanston first. He raced home from second base as the Von Steuben first baseman grabbed a foul popup and then fell down on the play.
Evanston tacked on three runs in the second — only hitting the ball out of the infield once — plus three more in the fourth. A walk to Justin Farrow, Jackson Mihevc’s second hit of the game and Otting’s line single to left in the fourth pushed the final margin to 10 runs.