SCHAUMBURG – The breeze was blowing in at Boomers Stadium Friday afternoon, not that Lake Park pitcher Mark Pall needed any help from the elements to mow down Geneva.
Pall, a senior right-hander, threw a complete game, one-hit shutout to lead the Lancers to a 6-0 victory over the Vikings in an Upstate Eight Conference baseball crossover.
“He really worked the zone,” said Geneva right fielder Matt Guenther. “He really hit the strike zone a lot and his changeup was really good.”
Guenther had the only hit for the Vikings, grounding a single off the glove of Lake Park second baseman Sam Pellegrino in the second inning. Pellegrino made a diving, back-handed stab at the ball, but couldn’t come up with it cleanly.
Guenther was promptly erased by a double play when Brock Chenier’s soft liner went right to first baseman Dom Romito.
The Vikings (4-4, 1-2 UEC River) had just two other baserunners. Bobby Hess walked with two outs in the fourth and stole second to become the only Geneva player to reach that base in the game. Ben Slattery reached on an error in the sixth, but Pall (2-0) induced Luke Polishak to ground into a 5-4-3 double play.
“Mark is a three-year starter and it was really nice to see him come out and throw strikes,” Lake Park coach Dan Colucci said. “He got ahead and put these guys on the defensive. Cold day, you don’t really want to swing the bat, and now you’ve got a couple strikes thrown out at you. Throwing 80 pitches in seven innings, he was really efficient.”
Pall struck out 10, including all three batters Geneva sent to the plate in the fifth.
“Their pitcher was very good,” Geneva coach Matt Hahn said. “I told Dan that’s the best Lake Park team we’ve seen in the years we’ve been playing them. They’re going to win a lot of ballgames this year. So, you’re frustrated when you lose, but you’re not frustrated when you lose to good teams, and they were better than us today.”
The Lancers (5-1, 2-1 UEC Valley) scored the only run they would need in the bottom of the first on three consecutive singles off Geneva starter Jordan Touro.
They added four more in the second, with the big blow coming on a bases-loaded triple into the right-field corner by Tom Spear. An unearned run in the third made it 6-0.
Touro, making his season pitching debut after dislocating a finger in the season opener, worked four innings, yielding eight hits. He struck out four and walked two. Chenier did not allow a hit in two innings of relief, striking out one and walking one.
“I thought Brock came in and did a real nice job throwing strikes,” Hahn said. “That’s the name of the game – throwing strikes and playing defense. Unfortunately, we’re struggling at that right now. We’re struggling to throw strikes. We’re struggling to play defense. That’s probably part of the reason we’re a .500 team right now.”
The Vikings will try to get back above .500 Monday when they host South Elgin in another conference game.