The younger brother of former Kaneland baseball standout Bobby Thorson is starting to make his own mark with the Knights.
Curtis Thorson, a junior right-hander, has made a strong early impression on coach Brian Aversa, most recently by shutting out Sterling, 1-0, in Saturday's Northern Illinois Big 12 crossover.
"When he's on, he's not hittable, and when he's off, he's just a little bit hittable, so it's not like he's going to give up seven, 10 runs or something like that," Aversa said.
Thorson has seen action in limited duty early this season but Aversa said Saturday was the first time he had the chance to work deep into a game. Thorson anchored the Kaneland sophomore team's pitching staff last season.
Thorson's older brother, Bobby Thorson, was a hard-throwing right-hander for the Knights' 2011 IHSA Class 3A state championship team. Also a prolific slugger, Bobby Thorson is a sophomore at Elgin Community College who already has signed to move on to the Division I ranks next year at Campbell (N.C.).
Curtis Thorson, meanwhile, is "more of a finesse pitcher," Aversa said.
"He's going to pick you apart," Aversa said. "He's going to find your weakness, and he's going to exploit it."
The Knights' game Monday at Rochelle was moved to Wednesday because of subpar field conditions. When Kaneland resumes action, Aversa will be looking for progress offensively.
Aversa said Josh Cohrs, Dan Miller and Matt Limbrunner have hit solidly so far but, beyond that trio, the offense has been unreliable, hence a 3-6 start to the season for the Knights.
"We're just trying to get the guys to focus on their approaches when they go to the plate," Aversa said. "We're really struggling with that early. We haven't had the same lineup out there yet as far as the batting order goes."
Neuqua Valley is a perennial Upstate Eight Conference powerhouse, and the Wildcats flexed their muscles with recent UEC crossover wins against St. Charles North and Geneva.
Vikings coach Matt Hahn said it's little surprise Neuqua is such a force.
"When you're pulling from 5,000 kids. … I always joke about this, you could combine us and St. Charles North, we'd be a pretty darn good team, and we'd still be smaller than them," Hahn said. "Whatever."
Batavia hopes its superb start to the season will translate to UEC River play, and the Bulldogs will be tested right off the bat.
Defending UEC River champion St. Charles East will be the Bulldogs' first UEC River opponent in a three-game series beginning a week from today in St. Charles.
Before turning their attention to the Saints, Batavia – which was unbeaten entering Monday's game against Neuqua Valley – has remaining UEC crossovers this week against Metea Valley, Lake Park and South Elgin, and a nonconference matchup Saturday against West Aurora.
IN THE GROOVE
Anthony Sciarrino, St. Charles East, Sr. OF
What he did: Sciarrino delivered a game-winning, two-run single in the top of the seventh on Saturday to lift St. Charles East to an 8-7 win against Glenbard North.
Matt Miller, Aurora Central Catholic, Sr., P
What he did: The Chargers' do-it-all standout struck out 12 batters in a complete game, 4-1 win Thursday against Wheaton Academy while also tripling and driving in two runs. Miller also homered in Saturday's 11-5 win against Salt Fork.
WHAT WE LEARNED FROM LAST WEEK
Fingers haven't been friendly to Geneva so far this season.
After starting pitcher Jordan Touro dislocated a finger in the season opener, standout third baseman Mitch Endriukaitis broke a finger while applying a tag in Thursday's win against Metea Valley. Endriukaitis is expected to miss most of the rest of the season.
WHAT WE'LL LEARN IN THE WEEK AHEAD
Whether Marmion shows any signs of jet lag.
OK, the Cadets didn't fly to Tennessee for their spring break road trip, but they did travel a long way. Marmion will try to re-establish itself in-state this week with games against Suburban Christian Conference opponents St. Francis and St. Edward.
COACH SLY SAYS
Death, high taxes and the St. Charles North baseball team winning 20-plus games a season are three certainties of life around the Tri-Cities, right?
Well, maybe not so fast regarding the North Stars this spring.
Sly's by no means counting North out, but it's looking like things aren't going to come quite so easy for the Stars this spring.
The North Stars have taken some lumps in the first few weeks of the season, and are going to need to raise their game a few notches to compete with the likes of Batavia, Geneva and St. Charles East in the UEC River this season.