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Boys Baseball: Neuqua Valley Starts Season With Win

Neuqua Valley 4, Hinsdale Central 2: A strong pitching performance by Kevin Hodgman and 2-run double by Chris Medhurst are key in Wildcats' win.

The got their baseball season off on the right foot with a 4-2 victory over Hinsdale Central.

“It was a great start for us,” Wildcats coach Robin Renner said. “We made a couple of mental mistakes I wasn’t too happy about it, but overall we did well. 

The Wildcats (1-0) were able to take advantage of several defensive lapses by the Red Devils (0-3), scoring their first run in the bottom of the second after an errant throw by third baseman John Spakapan and a misplay by Red Devils first baseman Tom Bieber. 

Kevin Hodgman led the way on the mound, throwing five dominant innings with nine strikeouts and giving up only four hits and one run. His only run allowed came in the fourth when shortstop Matt Anderson hit an opposite-field home run to left to lead off the inning. 

“He (Hodgman) gave an amazing performance,” Renner said. “I really loved the way he battled for us all game.” 

The Wildcats finally get through to Red Devils starter Chris Bobo in the bottom of the fifth with a pair of singles by Nick Blackburn and Nick Oleskowicz. Right fielder Chris Medhurst hit a double into the left-center gap to bring both runners home and give the Wildcats a 3-1 lead. 

Blackburn added an RBI single in the bottom of the sixth, scoring pinch-runner Griffin Pivarunas. The Red Devils threatened in the seventh after Sam Lucente scored on a wild pitch by reliever Alan Foresta after hitting a triple. Foresta settled down and struck out the side, ending the game. Hodgman and Foresta combined for 15 strikeouts and they struck out the side three times. 

Red Devils starter Chris Bobo pitched well, striking out nine in five innings and allowing two earned runs. 

The Wildcats play Tuesday at home against Plainfield South.

Chris Vavra March 29, 2011 at 04:58 AM
Special thanks to Jeff Cagle for the photos. Did a much better job than I ever could.

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