Monday, September 30, 2013

Red Dawn

This version of The Short Hop is all about the annual "Get Acquainted Day" at Gil Hodges Field. The day featured a pair of 7-inning contests which sandwiched a cookout lunch for players, coaches, friends, and family.

The Score:
Game 1: Red 8, Black 1. Lineups
Game 2: Red 9, Black 3. Lineups

Offense: The bats came out on Saturday but the Red team did most of the hitting. But overall, the hitters did a good job squaring up balls. In game one, Joe Sturino led the way with a double, a sacrifice fly, and a run scored. There were also RBI's by Andrew Pluckbaum, Josh Handzik, Michael Madden, and Kevin Sloat. Angelo Burrage paced the Black team with a pair of singles and a run batted in.  In game two, Burrage would display some power with a home run into the wind to right in a losing effort. The Red team legged out three triples in the game thanks to Chris Hauser, Charlie Dennehey, and Ryan Keck. Cam Chestnut added an RBI-single and three stolen bases. Garrett O'Neill went deep as well, sparking a 5-run 4th inning for the Red team.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Short Hop: 9/25/13

After a rain-soaked weekend, the Pumas were back on the field with a team practice Tuesday and an intersquad scrimmage on Wednesday. The early week has been preparation for our second scrimmage on Thursday.

The Score: Black 4, Red 3. Lineups

Offense: The offense came in spurts with the victorious Black team getting some bookend runs with a pair in the 1st and a pair the 5th inning. The Red team notched a 3-spot in the 4th thanks to hits by Kevin Sloat, Jake Celleghin, and a RBI-single for Andrew Pluckebaum, all three would come around to score. The victory was secured after a pair of walks, a passed ball, a throwing error, and a base hit over a drawn in infield by Nic Sampognaro.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Short Hop: 9/17/13

After a busy weekend at The Joe, the Pumas got back in action on Monday and followed that with an intersquad games on Tuesday and Wednesday yesterday. Runs have come at a premium, which speaks to the quality of the pitching and defense over the past week.

The Score 
Thu 9/12: Black 1, Red 1. Lineups
Tue 9/17: Red 1, Black 0. Lineups
Wed 9/18: Black 2, Red 2. Lineups

Offense: Offense has been hard to come by over the last three intersquad games but the bats showed signs of life today with more runs scored than the previous two games combined. The most promising thing about the runs is that 3 of the 4 runs came with 2-outs. But overall the offense has been suffering from propeller lag after three days off due to the Best of the Midwest junior college event at Gil Hodges Field over the weekend. The test for the offense will be continuing to get back in stride during the intersquad games Friday and Saturday, carrying into next week.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Short Hop: 9/12/13

After two days of individual skill work at practice, the Pumas were ready to scrimmage. This would be the first intersquad since the scrimmage against Kankakee Community College last Saturday where the Pumas scored 18 runs on the day. The teams were shaken up a bit but the offense was just as good.

The Score: Black 5, Red 4. Lineups

Offense: Each team put together a big inning, scoring four runs a piece in the early going. Andrew Pluckebaum capped the Red team scoring in the 2nd with a 3-run home run to right. The Black team got the scoring going after Angelo Burrage recorded his first hit in almost a year since returning from injury, driving in a run in the 4-run 3rd. Nic Sampognaro would tie the game later in the inning with a double to right-center, then broke the tie an inning later with an RBI-single to left. Overall, the hitters were "tough outs" all game long.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Short Hop: Scrimmage #1

Yesterday's scrimmage against Kankakee Community College meant a few things. But most importantly for the players, they could take a break from beating up on each other for at least a day.

The Score: SJC 5, KCC 1 (Game 1), SJC 10, KCC 2 (Game 2), KCC 6, SJC 2 (Game 3). Lineups

Offense: The bats came alive and put up 18 runs on the day on 30 total hits. The extra-base hit was at the center of the offensive output. Puma hitters racked up 13 extra-base hits, including 8 doubles, 3 triples and home runs by outfielders Dylan Rajkovich and Dom Olszta. The base running was aggressive but bordered on out of control, as there a lot of stolen bases but also a number of pickoffs.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Short Hop: 9/5/13

After a high-intensity practice on Tuesday, the Pumas held their third intersquad scrimmage on Wednesday. The two teams who won their respective games last week faced off in a one-sided affair yesterday. Experience can matter in this game and Wednesday was proof of that.

The Score: Red 6, Black 0. Lineups

Offense: This game demonstrated what can happen when teams execute. Sure, there were some hits, but those hits were bigger because of good base running and productive outs. A few guys in-a-row do their jobs and you look up to see a big inning.

Defense: This game demonstrated what can happen when teams fail to execute. Communication can bring a defense down faster than a botched double play ball. And there were definitely opportunities to display more on-field leadership. Physical errors will happen (of which there was only one), but not talking to a teammate iz unacceptable. The pitching was very good, where pitchers on both sides racked up the strikeouts. Senior Brett Maus and red-shirt junior Brad Reedy each struck out the side in scoreless innings of work.