Senior Mike Polubinski at bat against the Minooka Indians this Tuesday. “We’re on the right track to be serious playoff contenders,” Polubinski said. Photo courtesy of Colleen Olson.
East varsity baseball took care of business this Tuesday against the Minooka Indians, winning 4-1.
The team took the field looking to expand their lead in the conference series and to prove to the 13-win Indians that they were serious competition.
Quickly, the Wolves showed their drive.
Senior Mike Polubinski was responsible for two of the game’s earliest runs. One from his base hit, which brought senior Dylan Kubek home, and the other was from when his own brother, senior Josh Polubinski, batted him in.
M. Polubinski said that these runs sent a clear message to Minooka.
“I think [the early runs] showed that we’re not content with one win,” M. Polubinski said. “We want it all.”
The Indians could not respond with any runs in the following few innings, but their strong defense kept the Wolves at bay, preventing any more runs from being scored.
Junior Andy Lewis said that Minooka’s strong play did not discourage the Wolves from working just as hard.
“[Minooka] has a really solid team with really good individual players, so we knew that they would come to compete,” Lewis said. “Even though they held us back during those innings, we never backed down from that fight.”
During the Wolves’ at bats, calls from the umpire caused tension amongst the players, coaches, and even fans.
Senior Cody Haynes said that confusing moments like those show him the importance of going with the flow in a game like baseball.
“When you have a call that some people don’t agree with, you just have to work through it,” Haynes said. “You can only control what’s in your hands.”
Senior starting pitcher Patrick Flynn did not allow a single run and struck out five players while in the game. Flynn left during the top of the fifth due to injury, with Junior Jackson Petsche relieving him for the rest of the game, striking out another player, but allowing a run to be scored.
Petsche said that the support from the dugout keeps him together when he struggles on the mound.
“The energy [the dugout] had helped out a lot,” Petsche said. “When you have those unexpected moments like [Flynn’s early departure], you need those guys to have your back.”
Towards the end of the game, the Wolves picked up the same momentum they had at the very beginning, with J. Polubinski and Kubek adding two more runs in the seventh.
Even though the Indians were able to score one run in the seventh, the Wolves had already proved their strengths at the plate and on the field.
Head Coach Brian Schaeffer said that though he is proud of the work his team has put in, they need to have a short memory to complete the series against Minooka.
“Games like these give us an insight on what we need to work on in order to look better for the rest of the season,” Schaeffer said. “If we’re mentally tough and we have fun doing what we’re doing, then we’ll win those games.”
The Wolves play their final game in the series on the road against Minooka this Thursday, Apr. 27.
Kelsey Gara is a staff editor for Oswego East’s online news magazine The Howl