LASALLE — LaSalle-Peru’s Julius Sanchez and Rochelle’s Braden Alfano battled in a pitcher’s duel to decide the home-and-home series finale between the two teams Wednesday evening.
Sanchez and Alfano each tossed six innings for their respective teams, but the Cavaliers escaped with a 2-0 win over the Hubs to seal a two-game series sweep. Rochelle (5-10, 4-8 Interstate 8) has lost four consecutive conference games and will conclude the Interstate 8 schedule with a home-and-home series against Kaneland next Monday and Wednesday.
Alfano struck out three batters and limited the Cavaliers to four hits and one earned run in the game. Sanchez recorded 13 strikeouts for LaSalle-Peru, conceding only three hits. Senior Eric Briseno tripled, while junior Colton O’Rorke and senior Owen Angell each reached base twice.
LaSalle-Peru took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning, where Aidan Van Duzer doubled and scored on an error to give the Cavaliers the early advantage. Singles from Mason Lynch and Brady Romagnoli plated LaSalle-Peru’s second run in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Rochelle threatened in the top of the seventh inning, with O’Rorke and senior Grant Messer drawing back-to-back walks to open the frame before junior Noah Lara delivered a pinch-hit single to load the bases with no outs. The Cavaliers recorded outs over the final three at-bats, with the first coming on a forceout at home before a strikeout and a groundout ended the game.