Baseball: Post 57 powers to victory
By Gene Chamberlain For Sun-Times Media June 19, 2012 9:42PM
Elgin Post 57's Joe Crivolio gets a hit during the second inning Tuesday against Plainfield at Wing Park in Elgin. | Andrew A. Nelles~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 19, 2012 11:31PM
Elgin American Legion Post 57’s Jake Buhmann called his team’s batting approach, “looking for their pitch and putting it in play” against Plainfield Post 1080 Tuesday night at Wing Park.
Post 57 hitters actually put it out of play. They launched three first-inning home runs with the wind at their backs and turned a conference game into a five-inning, slaughter rule-shortened 11-1 victory.
“Their pitcher was struggling and we wanted to stay aggressive and keep the pressure on them,” said Buhmann, who played high school ball for South Elgin.
Buhmann had two first-inning hits, including the first home run to left-center after Ryan Ford had walked and Tyler Rydin had singled.
The fun continued for Post 57 (9-3) when Kevin Zasada walked and Joe Crivolio singled after the homer. One out later, Tyler Crater’s ground out scored a run, then Luke Duffy launched a two-run home run to left-center.
An error and walk followed, then Rydin hit a three-run home run to the same spot as the other two for a 9-0 lead as 13 Elgin players batted in the first against losing pitcher Brian Bower.
“They’ve got 25 players but they’re having trouble getting people to games because they have a lot of players who are in high school league,” Elgin general manager Bob Todd said of Plainfield, which had earlier forfeited in the Elgin Early Bird Tournament to Post 57.
The solid hitting by Buhmann has been typical of his play so far. In the Early Bird tournament he batted .625 with four RBI and a home run, and in last weekend’s Wheaton tournament he hit .333 with three RBI as Elgin finished 3-2 and ninth of 20 teams.
Buhmann graduated late last month and it’s undecided whether he’ll get to continue playing.
“I’m going to Illinois State and might try to walk on there,” said Buhmann, who has also been contacted by Elgin Community College about possibly attending there and playing baseball.
Duffy hit a two-run single in the second to score Crivolio and Crater, and finished the game 3-for-3. Rydin went 2-for-3 with two runs and three RBI, and Crivolio 2-for-2 with two runs.
Post 57 had 10 hits in four at-bats.
The pitching effort of starter Kevin Zasada and relievers Rydin and Duff had Todd at least as happy as the power hitting.
“We’re trying to get everyone on our pitching staff healthy and full strength,” Todd said. “Luke and Tyler didn’t pitch a lot in high school season and they’ve been running into trouble after four or five innings, so you have to wonder about stamina at this point.
“Getting them in for only a few innings helps.”
Rydin (1-1) got the win with two innings of one-hit ball. He struck out two. Zasada allowed three second-inning hits and a run but struck out two and walked one. Duffy threw a perfect fifth with two strikeouts.
Elgin, which is 2-0 in conference games that are used for seeding in postseason, travels Friday to Champaign for a weekend tournament and returns for conference play Tuesday at Wheaton.