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Baseball | Sandburg hitters are heating up

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By Steve Millar 
Correspondent

After relying heavily on its pitching staff for the first half of the season, Sandburg has been picking things up in a big way offensively.

The Eagles are confident in their ability to put up big run totals.

“The bats have been clicking recently,” senior outfielder Jason Sullivan said. “It’s getting warmer out and the bats are getting hotter. There’s no one in our lineup that’s a weak spot. From one to nine, we can all hit the ball.”

Sandburg showed that off Friday in Orland Park, rolling to a 17-5 five-inning win over Tinley Park.

Sullivan led the way, going 2-for-3 with a double, four RBI and three runs. Victor Zaragoza went 2-for-2, reached base four times, drove in three runs and scored three. A.J. Macak finished 3-for-3 with two RBIs and Dom Palumbo was 2-for-3 with two RBIs for the Eagles (14-4-1).

“We’ve been attacking fastballs, being very aggressive at the plate and we’re collectively playing team baseball,” Macak said.

Tinley Park (8-6-1) took an early 3-0 lead but Sandburg responded with a nine-run second inning.

Macak and Michael Stapleton both had RBI singles and scored on Sullivan’s three-run double that gave Sandburg a 5-3 lead.

“I was ahead in the count 2-0 and I swung at a fastball that was a little bit outside,” Sullivan said. “I was kind of mad because that’s not a 2-0 approach.

“But after that, I saw a pitch right down the middle and I took my opportunity. I drove it out to center field and drove my boys in and I was standing on second. It felt great.”

Macak came up a second time in the inning and delivered another RBI single.

Macak, a sophomore infielder who was called up to the varsity late in his freshman season, said the experience he got last year has made things easier for him this spring.

“I’m definitely a lot more comfortable now,” Macak said. “Last year, I felt the pressure, but this year I’ve settled in. With this team, it’s easy to do that.

“We stick together as a team. We go out to eat a lot and that brings us together as a team. Even when we have some losses, we stick together.”

The Eagles scored two more runs in the third and — after Tinley Park scored two in the top of the fourth to pull within 11-5 — piled on six more in the bottom of the fourth.

Charlie Snoreck, Sullivan and Palumbo had RBI singles in the sixth and Zaragoza produced a two-run double.

Cole Vazzana pitched 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief to close out the victory.

The win was the sixth in a row for Sandburg and the seventh in eight games since an 11-1 loss to rival Andrew on April 6.

Sandburg coach Jim Morsovillo was curious to see how his team would respond after that defeat.

“That game, we were flat as can be and, since then, we’ve really learned that you can’t come into a game like that,” Morosvillo said. “You’ve got to be prepared mentally to play.

“We’ve competed really well since then in every aspect of the game. We were down three runs in this game and we could have said, ‘Oh no.’ But we just started swinging the bats.”

On April 18, Sandburg earned a big SouthWest Suburban Blue win, topping Homewood-Flossmoor 7-5 behind four RBI from Collin Kissane. Grant Tenuta allowed two earned runs in 5 1/3 innings for the victory.

The Eagles’ winning streak was snapped April 22 when they fell, 8-1, to Andrean (Indiana).

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