Baseball | Nick Bestrick fires one-hitter as Sandburg tops Mount Carmel
By Steve Millar
Some extra sleep did Nick Bestrick quite well.
With Sandburg’s game against Mount Carmel postponed on May 12 because of rain, the Eagles had an unconventional two-site, two-opponent doubleheader — going to Plainfield East for a regularly scheduled game the morning of May 13 before coming home to host the Caravan for a makeup game in the afternoon.
Sandburg coach Jim Morsovillo told Bestrick to rest, skip the morning game and be ready to pitch in the afternoon.
“I felt like that helped a lot, actually,” said Bestrick, a junior right-hander. “We had lost a bunch of games in a row, so we needed a win. I felt like I needed to give us a chance, at least.”
Bestrick dominated Mount Carmel with a one-hit complete-game shutout as the Eagles snapped a five-game losing streak with a 6-0 win in Orland Park.
“We’ve been playing bad in all facets of the game for a couple weeks now, so we needed something like this,” Morsovillo said. “Nick was awesome.
“We bounced back offensively and put some pressure on their ‘D’. They made some mistakes that we capitalized on. We got a squeeze down and just tried to do the little things to score some runs with the wind blowing in.
“It was a good bounce-back win and we definitely needed that.”
Jason Sullivan went 4-for-4 with a double, two runs and an RBI to lead the offense for Sandburg (18-9-1), which lost 7-6 to Plainfield East in the morning game.
Victor Zaragoza had an RBI double and reached base four times, while Dom Palumbo and Cole Vazzana each had an RBI.
Austin Mallee had the lone hit for Mount Carmel (16-12) with a fifth-inning double.
Sophomore Matt Murphy had a solid day on the mound for the Caravan, going all six innings and allowing six runs — only two of them earned.
“Matt is a great competitor and he battled,” Mount Carmel coach Brian Hurry said. “We’re going to be counting on him here down the stretch and in the playoffs.”
Hurry tipped his cap to the opposing pitcher, as well.
“He was aggressive in the zone,” Hurry said of Bestrick. “He threw multiple pitches for strikes. He’s got good late action on everything he throws. He was one of the best pitchers we’ve seen all year.”
Bestrick stuck out 10 hitters and walked just one.
“My cutter and my curve were really on,” Bestrick said. “I threw a few changeups and they were all right. My fastball was good at the beginning.
“This boosts my confidence a lot.”
Sandburg’s five-game losing streak included four conference losses, as the Eagles were swept in two-game series by Lockport and Lincoln-Way East.
After Saturday morning’s loss to Plainfield East, spirits were not exactly high. That changed quickly against Mount Carmel.
Sullivan led off the first inning with a double, AJ Macak walked and Zaragoza came up with an RBI double. Palumbo followed with an RBI groundout and the Eagles tacked on another run on an error to go up 3-0.
Sandburg tacked on two runs in the third and one in the sixth and riding Bestrick’s arm to an easy win.
“I feel like it got us going,” Sullivan said of his double. “AJ was behind me and he got on and then Victor got a hit, got me in. That definitely got the game going the right way.
“When legs are feeling a little bit sore and everyone’s a bit tired, it’s huge to get off to that fast start and get everyone going.”
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