Baseball: Alex Doty blanks rival Larkin as Elgin avoids sweep
By Gene Chamberlain For Sun-Times Media May 17, 2012 8:54PM
Elgin's Alex Doty pitches during the first inning against Larkin on Thursday at Trout Park in Elgin. | Andrew A. Nelles~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 29, 2012 9:37AM
It didn’t look like the C.J. Edwards who had a sore hamstring earlier this year as the Elgin senior leadoff hitter sped around the bases for a three-run triple in the third inning Thursday night at Trout Park.
And it certainly looked nothing like the Maroons team that has struggled with the bats all year as they put together a seven-run third and 13 hits for the game to back the three-hit shutout pitching of Alex Doty in an 8-0 Upstate Eight River win that prevented rival Larkin from sweeping the three-game crosstown series.
“Especially after these last two games, where we let them slip right out from underneath us, we were not about to let that happen again today,” Doty said. “Fortunately, the offense just kept producing.”
Larkin (11-22, 8-17) rallied to win both of the first two in the series, but Doty (4-3) struck out three, walked none and the Maroons backed him with error-free ball and a game-ending double play to go with the offensive explosion.
“I was pitching through a lot of pain in my shoulder — actually it was really stiff,” Doty said. “So I really wasn’t able to throw my curve ball. I just had to spot my fastball really well. It just wouldn’t loosen up.”
Doty had just beaten St. Charles North 3-1 on Saturday at Trout Park, and plays his summer ball at the field for the Fox Valley Royals. So he refers to it as a second home field. Doty beat Larkin as a sophomore at Trout Park and put himself on the Royals’ radar that day.
“Two years ago out here he threw as a sophomore and just threw one of the best games at the varsity level I’ve seen in four years, and I just remember thinking he’s going to be a pain in our butt for the next three years,” Larkin coach Matt Esterino said. “And I think he was injured a little bit last year, but he has that attitude and that kind of swagger about him and he did a pretty good job against us today.”
It was easier for Doty as the Maroons (12-22, 6-19) matched their biggest offensive output since a March 31 doubleheader sweep of St. Edward.
Jake Bartelt singled home Derek Strohmaier against Larkin starter Brayden Royse (3-5) in the first inning, but the Maroons left two runners on base.
In the third, they were more efficient. They sent up 11 to the plate against Royse for seven runs on six hits.
Edwards had both a single and a three-run triple in the inning. He singled, Gage Teschner hit a one-out single and Jake Bartelt drove in one with a double before Ryan Sitter’s two-run single made it 4-0.
After Alex Buttell walked, Kiko Mari reached on an error, scoring a run. Andrew Higdon loaded the bases with a two-out bunt single, setting the stage for Edwards’ deep triple to center field for the game’s final runs.
“Usually we get ahead that first inning and after that we never find a way to keep adding on,” said Edwards, who is serving as designated hitter as he continues to work back from his hamstring injury. “Today we just found a way.”
Teschner and Sitter each went 3-for-3 and Bartelt and Higdon each went 2-for-3. Edwards was 2-for-4.
“We were saving them (runs) up, I guess,” Elgin coach Dave Foerster joked about the sudden offensive outburst. “We have a tough group of kids. There was no doubt in my mind we would come out and play hard after losing those first two.
“I didn’t expect this kind of score, but I knew for a fact we would come out and play hard.”