DeKALB – The DeKalb baseball team had a tough time catching up to Kaneland pitcher Anthony Holubecki Monday afternoon.
Holubecki gave up two runs on three hits in five innings of work, and when Knights reliever Nick Stahl came in, he was just as tough.
Stahl struck out the side in the sixth and didn’t allow a base runner in two innings of work in Kaneland’s 7-2 win. The game featured a 30-minute delay after one of the umpires spotted lightning in the distance.
The Knights improve to 8-3 and remain unbeaten 4-0 in conference. The Barbs fall to 5-5 and remain winless in the NI BIg 12 East at 0-4.
After falling behind 1-0 in the first inning, Kaneland got four runs in the second off DeKalb starter Zach Moan, and added three insurance runs in the seventh off reliever Max Fleetwood.
Stahl picked up his second save of the season after relieving Holubecki, who was removed because of a high pitch count.
“Stahl, I’ll tell you, we’re really impressed with Nick right now,” Kaneland coach Brian Aversa said. “He’s so efficient coming up throwing strikes, throwing the hammer there.”
Holubecki, a sophomore who’s already committed to Notre Dame did have some control problems – he walked four batters, but finished with seven strikeouts and the DeKalb batters were never really able to catch up to his fastball consistently.
DeKalb got on the board first when center fielder Josh Snead lined a single to left, scoring Patrick Aves – one of only three hits for the Barbs. DeKalb got another run in the third when Aves scored on a wild pitch, but left two men on to end the inning after leaving two on in the first.
“[Holubecki]’s tough. He’s going to get his strikeouts. I actually thought our approach against him wasn’t bad, we just never got the big hit,” DeKalb coach Jake Howells said. “When you’re facing a guy who’s throwing that well, you may only have a couple opportunities to put together big innings. And we had opportunities, we just never got the big hit.”
At the plate, Joe Laudont finished 2 for 3 with a double, two RBIs and two runs scored for Kaneland. Tyler Carlson was 3 for 3 with a walk, run scored and two stolen bases.
The teams continue their series at 4:30 p.m. Thursday at Kaneland.