Even with some new players sprinkled into the starting lineup for the season opener Tuesday at Ridgewood, Evanston’s baseball team found a way to set an aggressive tone for the 2015 season.
The Wildkits hustled their way to 6 stolen bases and took advantage of 8 Ridgewood errors while racing to a 13-0 slaughter rule victory in 5 innings.
Pitchers Russell Snapp, Zach Anderson and Dylan Mulvihill combined for a 1-hit shutout and 7 strikeouts for the Kits, who open their home season on Saturday with a doubleheader against Prairie Ridge.
The visitors broke through for 4 unearned runs against Purdue University recruit Joe Uvelli and kept on hustling. That’s just what head coach Frank Consiglio wants to see in any game, particularly in a season opener.
“This was a huge win for us,” Consiglio said. “With the success we had last year, this is a very confident team. We were able to take a Division I pitcher out of the game in just that one inning. Yes, in a way this is a new group. But we do have experience in the right spots, and I don’t feel like we have to push the reset button this year.
“I never gave anyone a steal sign. Those 6 stolen bases were more just them reading the situations, and that was impressive. I like to see that.”
Evanston’s four-run outburst in the first inning started with, of all things, a dropped third strike. The Rebels then committed two more errors around an RBI single by Charlie Maxwell, and Miles Porter (2-for-3, 2 RBI) lashed a run-scoring double off the center fielder’s glove that produced another tally.
Mark Roth’s walk and stolen base in the second led to an RBI single for James Allen, and Allen came around to score on a passed ball, an error and Maxwell’s sacrifice fly.
The Wildkits boosted the advantage to 8-0 in the third. Justin Farrow, who had reached on a sun-aided double, stole home on the back end of a successful double steal with pinch-runner Ben Drake.
Porter produced a run in the fourth with a bases-loaded single, and the Kits completed the slaughter with a 4-run fifth that featured a hustle double by Ben Wilson and singles by Roth and Tyler McHolland.
On the mound, starter Snapp pitched three innings in the 45-degree weather and surrendered the only baserunner, a two-out single by Uvelli in the first. Both Anderson and Mulvihill added perfect one inning stints to complete the shutout.