Falling to the Minooka Community High School Indians 4-1, the varsity Wolves took the home field on April 25th following a win against West Aurora the previous Thursday. This loss brought the Wolves’ record down to 7-8.
With senior Ashton Izzi starting on the mound, the first inning was scoreless, with some impressive defense shown off by the Wolves. With a fly ball caught in center field, a strikeout by Izzi, and a force out on first base, the Wolves made quick work of the Indians’ offense and offered no space for a run to get through.
Beginning in the bottom of the first inning, the Wolves began to show their offensive weakness. The Wolves were struggling at the plate, which stopped them from scoring runs against the Indians.
Junior first baseman Cody Haynes, who had several base hits throughout the game, said that the Wolves’ at-bats require some adjustment.
“I think the team can improve on quality at-bats,” Haynes said. “You know, different plate discipline, plate approaches, and then take it from there.”
While the Wolves struggled to make it home on the offensive side of the game, they managed to hold the Indians from scoring again for the first four innings.
The top of the fifth inning, however, is when the game began to slip away from the Wolves. With three runners batted in, the Indians increased their lead to 3-0, and scored again in the top of the sixth, with still no runs scored by the Wolves.
This defensive struggle in the second half of the game was due to a number of fielding errors, with many infielders letting balls through, allowing Minooka to rack on runs.
Senior outfielder Zach Selvig noticed that errors were a major reason for why the Wolves had a hard time stopping the Indians in the fifth and sixth innings.
“The errors [have got to] go, especially the easier errors,” Selvig said.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, junior third baseman Josh Polubinski was batted in to put the Wolves on the board.
Polubinski also commented on how the nature of this game did not allow for the Wolves to give up as many errors as they did.
“When you have these close games, and they’re low-scoring, it’s really about making the little plays,” Polubinski said. “They capitalized on the freebies more than we did, and that’s why we came out with the win today.”
Despite the disappointing loss, Haynes gave credit to his team for not giving up until the final out of the seventh inning.
“We were always in the game,” Haynes said. “We fought back until the end, and it just didn’t go our way.”
Head coach Brian Schaeffer noted this as well, as the Wolves continued to keep their heads up until the end, regardless of the score.
“We competed through the whole time,” Schaeffer said. “Even when we got down there in the fifth inning, they still … had the competitive nature to fight back.”
The Wolves will be on the road at Minooka Community High School on Tuesday, April 26th, as they hope to gain another win on the season.
Jackson Wezeman is a staff writer for Oswego East High School’s online news magazine the Howl