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Sluggers trounce Rochelle, vanquish DeKalb

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Photo: Mike Tattoni makes the turn at second base in recent action. File photo

More action for State champs includes two setbacks
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—If only the Kaneland Knights could put up double-figure run totals in every contest.

While they enjoyed wins over conference rivals, the Knights could have used them in two losses this past week.

A week with split fortunes saw a 17-0 win over the Hubs on Thursday, followed by a trip to Woodstock, Ill., and a close 6-5 loss to Marian Central Catholic on Saturday. Northern Illinois Big XII action continued on with a 6-2 win in Barb-land on Monday and a 4-3, 12-inning marathon loss to DeKalb on Tuesday in Maple Park.

Kaneland now sits at 10-7 (4-1 NIB-12).

In the five-inning rout of the Hubs, Trevor Storck (5 IP, 1 H, 2 K) earned the win, while John Hopkins had a double and three RBI in the effort. Tyler Heinle joined the party with two doubles and three RBI. Kaneland’s 10-run second inning made it 11-0 after two innings.

Against the Hurricanes, Kaneland’s 3-1 lead went by the wayside as MCC scored three in the bottom of the fifth. KHS tied it in the sixth before the hosts’ two-run sixth sealed the result.

Joe Pollastrini took the loss in relief, while Tom Fox went 3-for-3 with a triple and two RBI.

In DeKalb, the Knights’ four-run second and two-run fifth buoyed the visitors.

Hopkins took the win with a complete-game, six-hitter. Quinn Buschbacher jacked a grand slam, and Heinle went 2-for-3 with a triple and walk.

On Tuesday, DeKalb scored three in the fourth, with Kaneland’s three-run sixth tying the game until the Barbs’ one run in the 12th.

The loss went to Bryan VanBogaert, who went 7.2 innings in relief, while Fox went 3-for-6 with two doubles.

The Knights finish the series with DeKalb in a road contest on Thursday, April 19, before hosting old rival Geneva on Friday, April 20.

Knights baseball brings firepower vs. Dukes, Hubs

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Photo: Kaneland’s Quinn Buschbacher makes contact for a hit during their home game against Hononegah on April 5. Photo by Patti Wilk

KANELAND—Dixon’s baseball field is somewhat secluded, and surrounded by tall trees.

Not even that setting could protect them from Kaneland baseball’s offensive onslaught.

Saturday saw Kaneland travel to the former childhood home of President Ronald Reagan and contain the host Dukes by a final of 15-4 in a five-inning contest.

The Saturday win did wonders in getting the sour taste out of the Knights’ mouth after a 7-1 defeat at the hands of Rockton’s Hononegah High School on Thursday in Maple Park.

Kaneland also handed Rochelle two defeats: a 15-2, five-inning special on Monday and a 1-0 win in Ogle County on Tuesday.

Against Dixon, Kaneland (8-5, 2-0 NIB-12) was paced by two runs in the top of the first, then six in the second and a seven-spot in the third.

Trevor Storck balanced things on the mound with three strikeouts and seven hits scattered, while allowing three earned runs.

Tyler Heinle went 3-for-3 with a triple and two RBI, and Clay Denlinger added a 2-for-4 day with an RBI.

Against the visiting Indians, the Knights could only manage a run in the first, with John Hopkins taking the loss on the mound, despite allowing no earned runs over 5.2 innings.

Ray Barry had a double and drew two walks for the Knights.

Against the Hubs on Monday, Kaneland’s nine-run first set the tone in windy conditions.

Drew Peters improved to 2-2 and fanned eight.

It was still a challenge for the southpaw to mow down the rival lineup, even with a convincing lead.

“The curveball worked surprisingly (well) in this wind,” Peters said “The fastball came in pretty hard and I was really pleased.”

KHS coach Brian Aversa thought Peters did his duty on the mound, pitching smart with the lead.

“You know, it’s not a close game anymore,” Aversa said. “We’ve got the lead, we can be more aggressive and go after guys. If they hit it, they hit it, and if not, we have to make plays behind him.”

On Tuesday, the lone run was executed by Tyler Heinle with a suicide squeeze in the top of the fifth.

Hopkins went the distance, allowing a two-out double in the bottom of the seventh for the lone blemish.

Kaneland battles Rochelle in a rematch of the 2012 Rochelle Sectional title game won by Kaneland last June, on Thursday, April 12.

No decay in Decatur area for Knights baseball

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by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Spring break stories for Kaneland baseball will feature impressive displays against teams from Decatur, Ill.

Going to the former stomping grounds of KHS coach Brian Aversa—Millikin University, the Knights beat Decatur’s Eisenhower High School on March 28, plus handed Decatur’s MacArthur High School a loss on Thursday.

Kaneland also took it to host Harlem in Machesney Park, Ill., by a final of 3-1 on Monday to raise its overall mark to 6-4 in 2012.

In the 15-2, five-inning win over Eisenhower, Drew Peters earned his first win of the year (1-1), and the Knights put up five runs in the first and five in the fifth to bookend the barrage.

Jake Razo went 2-for-2 with two runs and two RBI, while Zach Martinelli smacked a two-run triple.

Against Decatur’s MacArthur team, the Knights put up seven runs in the top of the first inning, needing all of those runs as the hosts crawled back enough to make it a closer 11-7 win for Kaneland.

Bryan VanBogeart, with three innings of relief, took the win with five strikeouts to its credit.
Peters went 1-for-2 at the plate for the victorious Knights.

It was not as kind a day for Peters on the mound on Friday against host Washington High School. The lefty went 4.2 innings and gave up four runs, but just two earned, in an 8-3 setback. The hurler did fan nine batters.

John Hopkins went 1-for-4 with two RBI.

Despite taking a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning, Washington came back with a four-spot in the fifth and sixth innings to cinch things.

Against the Harlem Huskies, Kaneland’s offensive attack involved a run in the second and two runs in the fourth to break a tie.

VanBogaert’s outing of just three hits allowed was enough to get the win on the mound, and Matt Limbrunner’s two-inning outing earned him the save.

Quinn Buschbacher went 2-for-2 with a double and two stolen bases.

KHS next battles Rockton’s Hononegah High School locally on Thursday, April 5.

Kaneland then heads to Dixon High School to face the Dukes in NIB-12 crossover action on Saturday, April 7, to the site of the 2011 sectional championship grab—Rochelle, on Monday, April 9, and back home to host the purple-clad Hubs on Tuesday, April 10.

In other levels of Kaneland Knights diamond action, the Knight sophomores fell to West Aurora on Monday by a final of 8-6.

Tom Van Bogaert went 1-for-1 with a walk. Tyler Carlson went 3-for-4 with a double and two RBI, and Nate Hopkins had a 2-for-3 day at the plate with a walk and a run scored. The sophomore Knights still search for their first win after three opening losses.

Two out of three ain’t bad

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Wins over BC, Marmion make diamond less rough
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—An season-opening loss wasn’t ideal, but soon after, Kaneland baseball acted and played like the champions they were against hosts Burlington Central and Marmion.

March 21 saw Plainfield North best the visitors by a final of 3-1, but the Knights put up huge numbers against the Rockets in a 12-6 win on Thursday. Saturday saw the Knights win over the host Cadets in Aurora by a final of 7-2.

Trevor Storck earned the win (1-0) against Marmion, going six innings and scattering just two runs on three hits.

Ray Barry went 2-for-4 with two doubles, while Quinn Buschbacher went 2-for-3 with two runs and an RBI.

KHS plated three runs in the fourth and four more in the fifth for the win.

Against the Rockets, John Hopkins earned his first win over the year with four K’s and four runs allowed. Matt Limbrunner pitched the final three innings in relief for the save.

Buschbacher had a double and HR with four RBI, while Tom Fox also went yard and had a double with three RBI.

Down 4-0, Buschbacher jacked a three-run bomb to leftfield to close within 4-3.

“It was a fastball down the middle,” Buschbacher said. “I needed to help my team and we needed the runs.”

Coach Brian Aversa was happy at the offensive output from needed cogs like Buschbacher.

“Quinn’s a big part of our lineup, and he hit the ball when we needed it,” Aversa said. “We’re going to rely on him this year.”

The top of the fourth had Kaneland on top to stay with four runs. Jake Razo’s RBI single was the go-ahead hit, while Buschbacher and Trever Heinle had an additional RBI. KHS scored one more in the fifth and four more in the sixth to accentuate the lead.

Against Plainfield North. Drew Peters suffered the loss on the hill, but KHS saw an RBI from Heinle. Plainfield North’s three-run output in the first would be all they needed.

Kaneland’s spring break was set to bring it to Millikin University in Decatur, Ill., to play Decatur Eisenhower on Thursday, May 29.

State department

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Photo: Jake Razo (center) was not afraid to dirty his uniform on the quest for a state title. File Photo

Defending 3A Champs look for precious medals once again
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—2011 was a summer to remember in the annals of the relatively short history of Kaneland High School baseball.

A 13-game winning streak to end the season included the first ever regional, sectional and super-sectional championships for the 26-10 Knights, and ended with dominant showings against Waterloo and Oak Forest in the Class 3A State finals in Joliet, Ill. resulting in State hardware.

For the first time ever, coach Brian Aversa and company go into a season calling themselves defending champs.

“We have to get back to doing the work that we did last year,” the sixth-year coach said. “Coming into this season, I think the guys understood that. We’re where last year isn’t an expectation, but it’s what could happen with hard work.”

Aversa, who has compiled a record of 109-61 as Knights skipper, knows he’s got roles to fill on the diamond after last year’s captain core finished out their senior campaigns a year ago.

“We were state champs last year, but we’re not this year. We can get there, but we have to take care of A, B, C, D and E,” Aversa said.

Kaneland hopes to continue the streak of a Northern Illinois Big XII rep making it to the State finals, as LaSalle-Peru made it in 2009, and DeKalb did the same in 2010.

“Our schedule prepares us very well; we have Plainfield North, Burlington Central and Marmion. I don’t know if you can get much tougher than that,” Aversa said.

Jake Razo, Tyler Heinle and left-hander Drew Peters shore up the Knights lineup and played important roles in the State run. Razo in the outfield, Heinle at the backstop and Drew Peters on the mound take the reigns as leaders.

“They’re leaders and will lead by example. That will filter down to the younger players and even the seniors,” Aversa said.

The pitching rotation comes with the State-championship winning hurler Peters, junior John Hopkins, righty seniors Trevor Storck and Bryan Van Bogaert. With the bullpen being a work in progress, the hope is someone emerging like last year’s late season closer Kyle Davidson.

The outfield loses some key personnel to graduation, but Aversa is eager to see what the new crew can do.

“We have great speed out there, we have guys like Razo, Ray Barry, Quinn Buschbacher, Kyle Pollastrini, Mike Tattoni. They are all speed guys,” Aversa.

With guys like Bobby Thorson, who made a case for “Mr. June”, and Sam Komel no longer patrolling the infield, Kaneland hopes it’s set for 2012.

Senior Tom Fox earns a regular starting gig at third base.

“Tom will be a big surprise, and he has a great baseball mind and played in the shadow of Bobby and Drew French and getting more confidence in his abilities,” Aversa said.

Trever Heinle takes over at shortstop, and junior Joe Pollastrini mans second. Jordan Jones and Peters will split time at first base.

Kaneland knows the NIB-12 setup makes the lineup battle-tested and could lead to potentially bigger things, hopefully on par with last year.

“DeKalb will be up there, and we can’t look past schools like Yorkville and Rochelle; they finished last but run a regional. We’re going to take it one series at a time,” Aversa said.

The Knights’ journey was set to begin on Wednesday at Plainfield North, and they head to Burlington Central on Thursday, March 22.

Texas Hold ‘Em for KHS Baseball, softball

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KANELAND—Kaneland Baseball and Softball are the first annual Texas Hold’Em Tournament on Saturday, Feb. 18, at Elburn Community Center located at 525 Main Street. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., with the first deal at 7 p.m. It’s a $100 donation, with a $25 donation if only eating and drinking.

Register with brian.aversa@kaneland.org or brian.willis@kaneland.org. Walk-ins are welcomed. Food and beverages are included. Prizes awarded to all players that make final table. Sports memorabilia and silent auction items are also available. Opportunities for re-buys and add-ons during tournament are available. If interested, please contact Brian Willis or Brian Aversa for the complete tournament structure.

Pitcher Crosby added to 40-man roster

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DETROIT—Left-handed pitcher Casey Crosby, a member of Kaneland’s Class of 2007, was added to the Detroit Tigers’ 40-man roster for spring training, and will attend camp with the MLB outfit in Lakeland, Fla., in spring 2012.

A fifth-round pick, Crosby will attend the camp with other highly touted prospects; a summer after going 9-7 for Class AA Erie.

Informational meeting for Kaneland Travel Baseball Feeder Program Dec. 7

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The first-ever informational meeting concerning the Kaneland Travel Baseball Feeder Program is scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 7, from 7 to 10 p.m. in the Kaneland High School Library.

The meeting will discuss: Information in regards to the start of the 2013 Summer Travel Baseball Teams for U-10 through U-14, philosophy, guidelines, and general information and the direction of the high school baseball feeder programs and the endorsement of the high school baseball program and coaches.

The Meeting will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 7, in the High School Library at 7 p.m. Parents and coaches are encouraged to be in attendance to find out about the future direction of the new feeder system by the State Champion Kaneland Knights Baseball Program.

If you have questions about the meeting, contact Brian Aversa at Brian.Aversa@kaneland.org.

Kaneville to commemorate KHS baseball state champs

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by David Maas
KANEVILLE—The Kaneville Village Board on Oct. 20 passed a resolution to purchase signs commemorating the Kaneland High School’s Boy’s Baseball State Championship.

“It’s very important that we, as a village, celebrate this,” Trustee Pat Hill said.

The village will purchase two small signs, and two larger ones.

“We will also be updating the older signs, located on the way into the village, in order to keep those current,” Hill said.

While there is no schedule as to when the signs will be installed, the village hopes to get them up as soon as possible.

“Winning the State Championship is a huge event, and we want to show everyone we’re proud of our team,” Hill said.

Cougars going extra mile with Night of 100 Promotions

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GENEVA—The Kane County Cougars welcome all fans of baseball and fun to attend the Veeck Family “Night of 100 Promotions” game this Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at Elfstrom Stadium. Cougars staff will execute a total of 100 promotions taking place before, during and after the game that evening. Special guests of the Cougars organization this Thursday include former Chicago White Sox organist Nancy Faust, baseball executive Roland Hemond and sports promotions visionary Mike Veeck. Fans can get tickets for Thursday’s “Night of 100 Promotions” game by calling (630) 232-8811, visiting kccougars.com or stopping by the Cougars’ ticket office this week.

Fans who can receive a complete list of all 100 promotions upon entering Elfstrom Stadium will be treated to a dizzying array of events that are sure to garner a laugh or two throughout the evening. Cougars grounds crew members have consented to wearing “drag” during their between-innings diamond drag routine. Staff members will be offering free high-fives to fans, and there will be chances to “Hug an Intern” as well. Randomly-selected fans will deliver the lineup card to home plate, ignite the Cougars fireworks, announce “Play Ball” before the game, and serve as guest radio broadcaster and PA announcer for a portion of the evening.

The Cougars will also pay homage to several widely-known ballpark promotions that have taken place over the years and hold particular importance for Chicago baseball fans.

• Ballpark Shower—During the game, fans can cool off by enjoying a ballpark shower similar to the one installed by Bill Veeck in the outfield bleachers at Comiskey Park.
• Record Toss Contest— Randomly-selected fans will compete in a record-tossing contest, paying homage to Disco Demolition Night at Comiskey Park in 1979. Fittingly, the post-game fireworks show will be themed to disco music.
• Ivy Seed Giveaway—To commemorate the installation of the outfield wall ivy at Wrigley Field in the 1930’s, several fans will be awarded an ivy seed that evening.
•Nancy Faust Performance—Long-time White Sox organist Nancy Faust will bring her organ to perform during the game, including “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the seventh inning stretch. Don’t be surprised to hear Faust play her famous rendition of “Na Na Hey Hey Goodbye” if an opposing pitcher from the Peoria Chiefs is chased out of the game.

In addition to the fun sights and sounds inside the park that evening, fans can win and save big as well. Fans will have a chance to win two complimentary season tickets for the 2012 Cougars season. All fans who spend $20 or more in the souvenir shop will receive 20% off, and one lucky group will be upgraded to an upper deck suite for the evening. The KidZone attractions will also be free to fans from 5:30-6:30 p.m.

WCC fall baseball info

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SUGAR GROVE—Waubonsee Community College will host a fall baseball hitting and game league for high school players who are not participating in any fall high school sports. This IHSA approved league is the area’s longest-running and most economical fall league. Over 2,000 players have participated throughout the past 26 years, with hundreds going on to compete at the collegiate level.

The league is scheduled to run from Tuesday, Aug. 30, through the end of September. Games will be played on every Tuesday and Thursday during the month of September, beginning at 4:30 p.m. each day. All games will be played on Waubonsee Community College’s baseball diamond in Sugar Grove, and all players signed up are guaranteed playing time. Each of the eight game days will provide players the opportunity to use Waubonsee’s outdoor hitting facility that features two astro-turfed batting cages and multiple hitting stations.

Individuals interested in playing should attend an organizational meeting on Monday, Aug. 29, at 4:30 p.m. on the Sugar Grove campus. The meeting will take place in Room 219 of Erickson Hall, Waubonsee’s gymnasium, with a $60 fee due at that time. For more information, contact Waubonsee baseball coach Dave Randall at (630) 466-2527.

Knights baseball to get cell reception

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Photo courtesy of the Kaneland Krier

Kaneland’s Class 3A State Championship winning baseball squad is going “All In” at U.S. Cellular Field.

The Knights are scheduled to be honored for on-field pregame introductions at U.S. Cellular Field on the south side of Chicago before the White Sox vs. New York Yankees contest on Monday, Aug. 1, 2011, at 7:11 p.m.

Pre-game introductions recognizing the champions happens at approximately 6:15 p.m.

Ticket pick-up at Kaneland High School takes place on Saturday, July 30, from 9:30 to 10 a.m.

All players, families and friends are welcome, with the seating area in the Lower Box, Section 155.

For more information and any questions, e-mail coach Brian Aversa at Brian.Aversa@kaneland.org.

KC Cougars paying tribute to Veeck promotional staples

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GENEVA, IL—The Kane County Cougars, Class-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals, have announced that a Veeck Family “Night of 100 Promotions” will take place on Thursday, Aug.11, at Elfstrom Stadium. As part of the 6:30 p.m. game, the Cougars will feature a total of 100 promotions occurring before, during and after the game. The Cougars are also welcoming several special guests for the event, as former Chicago White Sox organist Nancy Faust, baseball executive Roland Hemond and sports promotions visionary Mike Veeck are scheduled to attend.

Fans, who can receive a complete list of all 100 promotions upon entering Elfstrom Stadium that evening, can expect surprises and fun around every turn as the Cougars host the Peoria Chiefs, a Chicago Cubs farm team. The Cougars will pay homage to several widely-known ballpark promotions that have taken place over the years and hold particular importance for Chicago baseball fans.

•Ballpark Shower—During the game, fans can cool off by enjoying a ballpark shower similar to the one installed by Bill Veeck in the outfield bleachers at Comiskey Park.
•Record Toss Contest—Randomly selected fans will compete in a record-tossing contest, paying homage to Disco Demolition Night at Comiskey Park in 1979. The post-game fireworks show will be themed to disco music.
•Ivy Seed Giveaway—To commemorate the installation of the outfield wall ivy at Wrigley Field in the 1930s, several fans will be awarded ivy seeds that evening.
•Nancy Faust Performance—Long-time White Sox organist Nancy Faust will bring her organ to perform during the game, including “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the seventh inning stretch. Don’t be surprised to hear Faust play her famous rendition of “Na Na Hey Hey Goodbye” if an opposing pitcher from the Peoria Chiefs is chased out of the game.

Other notable items on the list of “100 Promotions” for that evening include the Cougars grounds crew executing the between-innings infield drag (in drag); having one fan serve as “Mr. Kaboom Jr.” to push the button that sets off the seventh inning stretch fireworks; a “Tweet your seat” promotion; chances to “Hug an Intern,” and an opportunity for fans to play catch inside the stadium grounds.

In addition to the sights and sounds inside the park that evening, fans can win and save big as well. Fans will have a chance to win two complimentary season tickets for the 2012 Cougars season. All fans who spend $20 or more in the souvenir shop will receive 20% off, and one lucky group will be upgraded to an upper deck suite for the evening. The KidZone attractions will also be free to fans from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Baseball enthusiasts will certainly recognize the presence of the aforementioned guests of the Cougars on Thursday, Aug. 11. One of the most respected executives in baseball, Roland Hemond, has 60 years of baseball experience and held two stints with the White Sox as a General Manager and Executive Advisor. Interestingly enough, the Cougars began in Geneva in 1991 as an affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles, where Hemond was GM at the time. Nancy Faust completed her final season with the White Sox in 2010 and is regarded as one of the first performers to bring rock and pop themes to the ballpark organ. Mike’s family started in baseball nearly a century ago when Veeck’s grandfather was president of the Chicago Cubs. Veeck’s father, Bill, was a Hall of Fame owner with several teams, including the White Sox. Fans can get tickets for the “Night of 100 Promotions” by visiting kccougars.com or calling (630) 232-8811.

All-Star Crosby

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2007 Kaneland High School graduate Casey Crosby, who now pitches for the Erie SeaWolves, a Double-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers, started the Eastern League All-Star game July 13. The left-handed Crosby pitched one inning, allowing no runs and no hits, and is currently 6-3 overall for the SeaWolves, with a 3.83 ERA and 70 strikeouts in 16 games. Courtesy Photo

Cougars feature super happenings on homestand

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GENEVA, IL—The Kane County Cougars, Midwest League affiliate of the Kansas City Royals, have plenty planned for the homestand that runs through Monday, July 18. Facebook fans of the Cougars will be at Elfstrom Stadium this Thursday for Facebook Night. In addition to receiving discounted tickets for the 6:30 p.m. game that evening, Facebook fans have a new level of involvement in the game’s details.

In the weeks leading up to Thursday, Facebook fans have voted on a series of in-game elements that have included the Cougars’ uniform choice (tropical jerseys), post-game fireworks music and pre-game stadium music. Randomly selected Facebook fans will be participating in the game through ceremonial first pitches, as well as in-game contests and other surprises. The Cougars successfully reached the 5,000 fan mark last month in their “Drive for 5,000” promotion that was announced this past winter.

The Cougars also will pay homage to all Super Heroes as part of this Friday’s Super Heroes Theme Night. Various events are planned for the evening, including a pre-game costume parade for fans, in-game contests and a post-game fireworks show set to super hero music. Captain America will be on hand to throw a ceremonial first pitch and meet with fans. The Cougars also will be recognizing real-life super heroes in the community that were nominated by fans as part of a pre-game ceremony.

The Cougars also welcomed representatives from the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Chicago to Elfstrom Stadium on Saturday for an on-field check presentation in the amount of $5,500. Proceeds from June’s 50/50 raffle and Pitch in for Charity events were donated to the organization, which is dedicated to promoting prostate cancer awareness, early detection, and to ensure that all treatment options, including no treatment, are made available to patients. Charitable initiatives with which the Cougars are partnering later this season include Misericordia Home for the month of July, and the Glaucoma Research Foundation in August.

KHS spring sports awards put fitting cap on 2010-11

in Baseball/Boys Track/Girls Soccer/Girls Track/Softball by

KANELAND—Coming a little later due to the storybook run of Kaneland baseball, KHS released its spring sports awards for 2010-11, highlighting a successful first step into Northern Illinois Big XII play.

In girls track, Lauren Zick and Andie Strang took home the co-MVP for track, while Brooke Patterson was named MVP on the field end. For most improved, Abby Dodis and Briana Stark took home the honor.

Sydney Bilotta, Strang, Kris Bowen, Jessica Stouffer and Keara Palpant were recognized as captains.

Zick and Patterson were joined by Gabby Aguirre as part of the Northern Illinois Big XII (NIB-12) All-Conference squad. Strang (1600 meter run, 4x800m relay), Bowen (4x800m relay), Patterson (pole vault), Sydney Strang (4x800m relay) and Zick (400m dash, 4x800m relay) were also recognized for their State trip.

For boys track, Taylor Andrews and Tommy Whittaker were named track MVP’s, while teammate Matt Spitzzeri took the field MVP. Curtis Secrest was given the Drendel Award.

Secrest, Trevor Holm, Whittaker, Andrews, Matt Cowans and Spitzzeri were recognized as captains, and Kory Harner took the Ron Probst Award.

The NIB-12 also named Andrews, Spitzzeri, Whittaker, Holm, Brandon Cottier, Mickey Marin and Jesse Balluff as part of the All-Conference squad.

Harner, Marin, Luis Acosta, Clayton Brundige, Balluff, Brandon Bishop, Dylan Nauert, Sean Carter, Holm, Cottier, Whittaker, Andrews and Secrest were all recognized for their State qualifying efforts.

In soccer, Emily Heimerdinger secured an All-State honor, capping her four-year output in style, while also named the NIB-12 MVP. The Class of 2011 member was also named co-MVP for the Lady Knights with teammate Amy Fabrizius.

Conference-wide, Heimerdinger, Fabrizius, Sophia Blank and Sam Wantuch were named to the All-Conference team.

Katie Taylor earned the Lady Knights Award, while Blank took home the Coach’s Award.

Keeper Michelle Ortiz was named Rookie of the Year, while Wantuch was named Most Improved Player for the roster that made it to the regional championship. Blank, Fabrizius, Heimerdinger and Taylor were also recognized as captains.

In softball, McKinzie Mangers and Andrea Potts were recognized as captains, while Allyson O’Herron took home the Lady Knight Award.

Potts was also named the Offensive Player of the Year.

Alexis Villarreal was named Most Improved Player for her efforts on the mound, and teammate Rilee Vest was named Defensive Player of the Year for the Lady Knights softball unit.

Additionally, Potts was a unanimous selection to the NIB-12 All-Conference team as an infielder. Vest and Katy Dudzinski were named as honorable mention candidates.

For the State Champion Knights baseball program, Bobby Thorson was named team Offensive MVP.

Kyle Davidson, Jake Razo and Brian Dixon took the Defensive MVP awards, and Dixon, Razo and Tyler Heinle were named Most Improved Players.

The No. 41 award was given to Sam Komel, Corey Landers and Dixon.

Mr. Kaneland Baseball was given out to the whole of the 2011 Class 3A State winners.

Additionally, Kaneland held the Senior Athletic Banquet Awards in June, giving the Knight Award for three-sport athletes to Stouffer, Strang and Davidson.

Strang was named female athlete of the year, while Andrews was named male athlete of the year. Strang also won the female Birkette Award, while the male Birkette Award went to Curtis Secrest.

Thorson nabs All-State nod, NIB-12 East Division MVP

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Senior Bobby Thorson performed well on the mound and at third base, serving as a key component to the Class 3A State Champion Kaneland Knights. Thorson received state and conference honors for his play. File Photo

KANELAND—Accolades didn’t stop for Kaneland baseball last week, as the Northern Illinois Big XII All-Conference squad was released.

For the State Champion Knights baseball program, Bobby Thorson, in addition to being named conference MVP, was given an All-State honor, also being named team Offensive MVP by Kaneland.

After Kaneland was crowned Class 3A State champions in Joliet, Ill., Thorson was named as East Division Most Valuable Player, notable for his pitching. Thorson, along with DeKalb’s Brian SIsler (infielder), Sycamore’s Eric Ray (infielder), Morris’ Greg Struck (DH), Morris’ Josh DeGraaf (P), DeKalb’s Jake Gordan (outfilelder), Morris’ Kjeld Torkelson (outfielder), DeKalb’s Trenton Sopko (catcher) and Rochelle’s Micha McCulloch (catcher), were unanimous selections.

Other Knights selected to the conference elite were Kyle Davidson for infield, Joe Camiliere for outfield, Sam Komel for At-large, while Drew French, Corey Landers and Jake Razo made honorable mention.

Other selections were infielder Jacob Mathre of Yorkville, Morris’ Ryan Bernickus of Sycamore at utility, DeKalb pitcher Cody Varga and Sycamore hurler Jake Turner.

Yorkville’s Luke Lucchetti made the elite group as an outfielder, while teammate Josh Cooper was named an At-large member.

Bobby Baseball
• All-State Team
• Team Offensive MVP
• NIB-12 East Division MVP
• Winning pitcher in State
semifinal win over Waterloo

Oh, Kaneland!

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Photo: Joe Camiliere shows what it’s all about after Saturday’s 11-3 State Championship-clinching win as he and teammate Bobby Thorson receive their Class 3A medals. The two seniors supplied offense and defense during the weekend, and Thorson picked up the win over Waterloo on Friday. A photo gallery can be found at the bottom of this page. Photo by Mike Slodki

KHS baseball wins 1st State championship with 11-3 win vs. Oak Forest
by Mike Slodki
JOLIET—In high school baseball postseason, only one team can follow through on its aim to run the table and win its last game.

For 2011, that team was your Class 3A State Champion Kaneland Knights.

With an 8-2 win over the Waterloo Bulldogs on Friday afternoon at Silver Cross Field in Joliet, Ill., the Knights earned the right to play Oak Forest and slayed the Bengals in an 11-3 result.

For KHS, this marks the first State Championship in a head-to-head sport since coach Joe Thorgesen’s second Class 3A Championship in a row back in 1998.

Kaneland (26-10) finished the season with a 13-game winning streak, on the heels of a slump that saw it lose six of seven contests to Yorkville, Sycamore, Oswego East and Morris. The Knights’ last loss of the season occured back on May 10 against the Redskins.

“We opened with Plainfield North and had a couple cancellations, faced Cary-Grove, faced Warren, and I told our guys we were going to take some lumps,” KHS coach Brian Aversa said. “We started 2-4, and it was going to prepare us for the end of the season.”

Winning pitcher Drew Peters helped keep the Bengals in check, combining with the defense to stop Oak Forest (27-8-1) on two occasions when they had two runners on base.

On the offensive end, the Knights got a two-out double from centerfielder Joe Camiliere, and he was driven home by third baseman Bobby Thorson for the first run of the contest on an RBI single.

It remained that way until the top of the fourth inning, when with two runners on and two outs, Oak Forest reaped the benefits of a ball to the outfield just out of the reach of Jake Razo for a 2-1 lead.

Powering through that pivotal moment, Kaneland got Camiliere on with a single, and the Elmhurst College-bound baserunner stole second. With two outs, a balk moved Camiliere to third, and DH Drew French walked to put runners at the corners. Razo’s single to left tied the game, and it was followed by second baseman Brian Dixon’s go-ahead single. As French beat the throw home, Dixon took second base.

The floodgates opened in a six-run fifth inning, which increased the lead to 9-2. RBIs in the inning were laced by Thorson, Sam Komel (2 RBI), Razo, Dixon and catcher Tyler Heinle.

“We did a good job at the plate today,” Camiliere said. “We got a run early, and that’s always big. Once we get in the rhythm of a game, that’s when the bats get going.”

The bottom of the sixth inning saw Razo come through again with a two-run double, which closed out the scoring for the season.

Kyle Davidson came on in relief for the last three innings, and allowed three straight singles with one out leading to a run.

However, Davidson induced Bengal shortstop Bobby Sheppard into a game-ending 6-4-3 double play. Davidson and catcher Heinle began the pileup on the field, and the celebration was on.

“We were happy to be here. We were a little worried on how we’d stack up against these teams with 30 wins,” Aversa said.

Camiliere believed all facets of the game played at peak level.

“We played our best game of the year today. Defensively, we gave up some hits, but the plays we needed to make, we made them. That double play was awesome at the end,” Camiliere said.

In the State semifinal against a Waterloo (32-4) team that featured Cubs ninth-round pick Garrett Schlecht, the Knights surrendered single runs in the second and third innings, but Thorson held firm the rest of the afternoon in a complete-game outing.

“My hands were dry today, and I was able to throw more breaking stuff,” Thorson said. “It wasn’t as hot, and I felt great out there.”

The fourth inning yielded huge returns with four runs. Thorson led off with a triple. After one out was recorded, French walked and Razo’s single made it a 2-1 game. Dixon tied the game with another single.

Heinle dropped a suicide squeeze but Waterloo made a bad throw to first to give KHS a 3-2 lead.

“I love bunting,” Heinle said. “It comes easy to me, and I got excited when the sign came for the suicide squeeze.”

Corey Landers smacked a grounder that went off a shortstop mitt to bring the fourth run of the inning home.

Four more runs came home in the sixth, thanks to RBI singles from Landers and Thorson, and a two-run single from Komel.

The KHS unit was also coached by Jim Smedley, Ernie Colombe, Dan Hallahan, Kevin Boltz and Norm Welker.

Team captains were departing seniors Davidson, French, Landers, Camiliere, Komel, Thorson and Dixon.

2011 Class 3A
Final Four
June 10-11, 2011

• Semifinals
Oak Forest 3
Nazareth Academy 1

Kaneland 8
Waterloo 2

• Third place
Nazareth Academy 1
Waterloo 6

• Championship
Oak Forest 3
Kaneland 11

Wish to relive the Knights’ quest?

Both State Final games are available for viewing at www.IHSA.tv.

DVD copies will also be available online for purchase at www.PrepFilms.com.

KHS vs. Waterloo

• Score-by-innings
R H E
Knights 000 404 0 8 11 1
Bulldogs 011 000 0 2 4 4

Starting Lineup—Knights
1. Davidson SS 6. French 3B
2. Landers LF 7. Razo RF
3. Camiliere CF 8. Dixon 2B
4. Thorson P 9. Ty. Heinle C
5. Komel 1B
Starting Lineup—Bulldogs
1. Aycock CF 6. Steppig LF
2. B. Dillenberger SS 7. Wittenauer 2B
3. Schlecht 1B 8. Snodgrass DH
4. Wetzler C 9. Schaab 3B
5. Hopkins RF 10. Crutchfield P

• Bottom of 2nd
Hopkins walked. Steppig grounded out
to 3b, SAC. Hopkins advanced to second. Wittenauer singled up the middle, RBI. Hopkins scored. Wittenauer stole second. Snodgrass flied out to cf. Schaab walked. Wittenauer out at third c to 3b, caught stealing. Kaneland 0, Waterloo 1.
• Bottom of 3rd
Aycock walked. B.Dillenberger reached on a fielder’s choice; Aycock out at second ss to 2b. B.Dillenberger stole second. Schlecht grounded out to 2b. B.Dillenberger advanced to third. Wetzler singled to left center, RBI. B.Dillenberger scored. Klein pinch ran for Wetzler. Hopkins grounded out to 2b. 1 run, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 LOB.
Kaneland 0, Waterloo 2.
• Top of 4th
Thorson tripled to right center. Barry pinch ran for Thorson. Komel struck out. French walked. Razo singled to shortstop, RBI. French advanced to second; Barry scored. Dixon singled through the right side, RBI; Razo advanced to third; French scored. Ty.Heinle singled, bunt, RBI; Dixon advanced to second, advanced to third on a throwing error by p; Razo scored. B.Dillenberger to p. Wittenauer to ss. Snodgrass to 2b. Crutchfield. Davidson struck out looking. Landers reached on an error by ss. Ty.Heinle advanced to third. Dixon scored, unearned. Camiliere grounded out to ss. Kaneland 4, Waterloo 2.
• Top of 6th
Dixon grounded out to 2b. Ty.Heinle flied out to cf. Davidson doubled to right center. Landers singled up the middle, RBI; Davidson scored. Camiliere walked. Landers advanced to second. Thorson singled to right center, RBI; Camiliere advanced to third; Landers scored. Barry pinch ran for Thorson. Barry stole second. Komel singled to left center, 2 RBI; Barry scored. Camiliere scored. Komel advanced to second on a wild pitch. French flied out to rf.
Kaneland 8, Waterloo 2.

KHS vs. Oak Forest

• Score-by-innings
R H E
Bengals 000 200 1 3 10 2
Knights 100 262 0 11 13 0

Starting Lineup—Bengals
1. Zubek C 6. Jester 2B
2. Richard RF 7. Linares P
3. Barry LF 8. Hine DH
4. Sheppard SS 9. Sleeman 3B
5. Murray CF
Starting Lineup—Knights
1. Davidson SS 6. French DH
2. Landers LF 7. Razo RF
3. Camiliere CF 8. Dixon 2B
4. Thorson 3B 9. Ty. Heinle C
5. Komel 1B 10. Peters P

• Bottom of 1st
Davidson struck out looking. Landers grounded out to ss. Camiliere doubled down the rf line. Thorson singled up the middle, RBI; Camiliere scored. Komel struck out.
Oak Forest 0, Kaneland 1.
• Top of 4th
Sheppard singled to right center. Murray popped up to p. Jester hit by pitch. Sheppard advanced to second. Linares grounded out to p. Jester advanced to second; Sheppard advanced to third. Hine singled to right field, 2 RBI; Jester scored; Sheppard scored. Sleeman singled; Hine advanced to third. Zubek grounded out to p.
Oak Forest 2, Kaneland 1.
• Bottom of 4th
Camiliere singled to first base. Thorson struck out. Camiliere stole second. Komel struck out. Camiliere advanced to third on a balk. French walked. Razo singled, RBI. French advanced to second; Camiliere scored. Dixon singled down the lf line, advanced to second on the throw, RBI; Razo advanced to second, advanced to third on the throw; French scored. Ty.Heinle grounded out to ss.
Oak Forest 2, Kaneland 3.
• Bottom of 5th
Davidson struck out looking. Landers singled to center field. Camiliere singled to pitcher; Landers advanced to second. Thorson doubled down the rf line, RBI. Camiliere advanced to third. Landers scored. Komel singled, advanced to second on a throwing error by lf, 2 RBI; Thorson scored; Camiliere scored. Johnson to p for Linares. French flied out to rf. Razo doubled down the lf line, RBI; Komel scored. Dixon singled to right field, advanced to second on the throw, RBI. Razo scored. Ty.Heinle singled down the lf line, advanced to second on the throw, RBI; Dixon scored. Tattoni pinch ran for Ty.Heine. Davidson walked. Barry pinch ran for Davidson. Zale to p for Johnson. Barry advanced to second on a wild
pitch; Tattoni advanced to third on a wild pitch. Landers walked. Camiliere grounded out to 2b.
Oak Forest 2, Kaneland 9.
• Bottom of 6th
Thorson walked. Fergus pinch ran for Thorson. Komel flied out to rf. French walked; Fergus advanced to second. Fergus advanced to third on an error by c. Razo walked; French advanced to second. Dixon doubled to left center, 2 RBI. Razo advanced to third; French scored; Fergus scored. Jester to p. Blake to 2b for Zale. Ty.Heinle struck out looking. Davidson struck out.
Oak Forest 2, Kaneland 11.
•Top of 7th
Sleeman struck out. Zubek singled up the middle. Richard singled to center field. Zubek advanced to second. Barry singled to right center, RBI; Richard advanced to second; Zubek scored. Sheppard grounded into double play ss to 2b to 1b; Barry out on the play.
Oak Forest 3, Kaneland 11.

Photo gallery:

State Champs!

in Baseball/Featured by

Photos courtesy of the Kaneland Krier

The Kaneland Knights baseball team won it’s first state title in school history after defeating Oak Forest 11-3 in Joliet. For more coverage, check out our paper Thursday.
Game Stats >>


Click here for the Krier’s photo gallery >>

IHSA Class 3A Championship Game
Oak Forest vs Kaneland
Jun 11, 2011 at Joliet, IL (Silver Cross Field)

Oak Forest 3 (26-10)

Player AB R H RBI BB SO PO A LOB
——————————————————
John Zubek c…………. 4 1 3 0 0 0 7 0 2
Brian Richard rf……… 3 0 2 0 0 0 4 0 0
Tim Barry lf…………. 4 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 1
Bobby Sheppard ss…….. 4 1 2 0 0 1 0 3 1
Cody Murray cf……….. 3 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 3
George Jester 2b/p……. 2 1 0 0 0 1 0 2 0
Kyle Linares p……….. 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Arthur Johnson p…….. 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Tom Zale p………….. 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
Jim Blake 2b………… 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Jason Hine dh………… 3 0 1 2 0 2 0 0 0
Kyle Sleeman 3b………. 3 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 0
Tom Livingston 1b…….. 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 0 0
Totals………………. 29 3 10 3 0 6 18 6 7

Kaneland 11 (27-8)

Player AB R H RBI BB SO PO A LOB
——————————————————
Kyle Davidson ss/p……. 4 0 0 0 1 3 1 1 2
Ray Barry pr………… 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Corey Landers lf……… 3 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0
Joe Camiliere cf……… 4 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 3
Bobby Thorson 3b……… 3 1 2 2 1 1 0 1 0
Shane Fergus pr……… 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Sam Komel 1b…………. 4 1 1 2 0 2 9 0 1
Drew French dh……….. 2 2 0 0 2 0 0 0 0
Jake Razo rf…………. 3 1 2 2 1 0 1 0 0
Brian Dixon 2b……….. 4 1 3 4 0 0 3 3 0
Tyler Heine c………… 4 0 1 1 0 1 6 0 2
Mike Tattoni pr……… 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Drew Peters p………… 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 0
Trevor Heine ss……… 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
Totals………………. 31 11 13 11 6 7 21 11 8

Score by Innings R H E
—————————————–
Oak Forest………. 000 200 1 – 3 10 2
Kaneland………… 100 262 X – 11 13 0
—————————————–

E – Zubek; Barry. DP – Kaneland 2. LOB – Oak Forest 7; Kaneland 8. 2B –
Camiliere; Thorson; Razo; Dixon. HBP – Richard; Jester. SB – Camiliere.

Oak Forest IP H R ER BB SO AB BF
———————————————–
Kyle Linares…….. 4.1 9 7 7 1 5 22 23
Arthur Johnson…… 0.1 3 2 2 1 0 4 5
Tom Zale………… 0.2 1 2 2 4 0 3 7
George Jester……. 0.2 0 0 0 0 2 2 2

Kaneland IP H R ER BB SO AB BF
———————————————–
Drew Peters……… 4.0 6 2 2 0 3 17 19
Kyle Davidson……. 3.0 4 1 1 0 3 12 12

Win – Peters (5-1). Loss – Linares (5-1). Save – Davidson .
WP – Zale; Peters. HBP – by Peters (Richard); by Peters (Jester). BK – Linares.
Umpires – HP: Rich Doman 1B: Bert Person 3B: Andre Morgan
Start: 11:30 am Time: 2:02 Attendance: 1177
Game notes:
63 degrees, overcast, wind N@6mph

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