Baseball: Hub offense stalls in Ottawa rematch

Junior Andy Buskohl struck out three batters in nearly four innings pitched during the Rochelle Hub varsity baseball game against Ottawa on Wednesday. (Photo by Russell Hodges)

Pirates sweep two-game series with 10-1 win over Rochelle

ROCHELLE — Looking to avoid starting the season with an Interstate 8 Conference sweep, Rochelle’s varsity baseball team had a tough time generating offense Wednesday evening, when the Hubs battled Ottawa hurler Jack Olson and the Pirates in Game 2 of the series.

The left-hander Olson was in complete control, striking out seven Rochelle batters and limited the Hubs to only two hits as the Pirates defeated Rochelle 10-1. The Hubs (0-2) avoided the shutout in the seventh inning, where junior Owen Angell reached on a dropped third strike and scored on a passed ball. Rochelle will take on Indian Creek in a doubleheader this weekend.

“We saw some good things out of our pitchers,” head coach Jarrod Reynolds said. “I thought Andy [Buskohl] settled down after the first inning and I thought both Braden [Alfano] and Mark [Hopkins] threw the ball well. Offensively, we weren’t able to get out bats going. We need to get more swings in and I think our kids are still getting used to playing at game speed.”

Junior Andy Buskohl started on the mound for Rochelle, throwing three and one-third innings and striking out three batters. Junior Braden Alfano entered in relief, fanning two over two and two-thirds innings before senior Mark Hopkins finished with one strikeout in one inning of relief. Ottawa scored four runs in the first inning, taking a 1-0 lead on an RBI triple from Evan Evola, who then scored on an error. Luke Cushing made it 4-0 Pirates on a two-run homer.

RBI singles from Cushing and Adam Weitzel put the Pirates ahead 6-0 in the fifth inning. Rochelle went hitless until the bottom of the fifth inning, where junior Eric Briseno reached on an infield single to end Olson’s no-hit bid. After two Pirate runners reached in the sixth inning, Ottawa iced its victory with four runs on three singles, one walk and a Hub error in the seventh inning. Junior Jacob Andrist singled for Rochelle in the bottom of the seventh inning.

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