ROCHELLE — The Rochelle Hub varsity baseball team brought out the bats in a big way over the weekend, scoring 32 runs and hitting seven homers across two games as the purple and white swept their doubleheader with Indian Creek. Rochelle (2-2) hosts Sycamore on Wednesday.
The Hubs defeated Indian Creek 17-7 in six innings Saturday morning. Senior Mark Hopkins threw all six innings for Rochelle, striking out eight batters and allowing four runs. Seniors Oscar Linares, Evan Meyers and junior Andy Buskohl all homered for the Hubs in the win.
“The wind was blowing out toward left-center field and coach [Jarrod] Reynolds was telling me to drive the ball the other way,” Linares said. “That worked to my advantage since I’m a left-handed hitter and my teammates who’re right handed were able to pull the ball. It was a relief to get our first two wins of the season. I think we have a lot of talent on this team.”
A two-run homer put the Timberwolves ahead 2-0 in the top of the first inning, but Rochelle countered with three runs in the bottom half. Meyers homered from the lead-off spot, while senior Mike Schlenbecker laced a two-out, two-run double to center soon after. Schlenbecker went 4-for-4 with three doubles, one single and three RBIs for the Hubs in the opener.
A two-run homer from Linares and an RBI double from Schlenbecker helped give Rochelle an 8-3 lead after two innings. Indian Creek earned one run back in the top of the third inning, but the Hubs answered again, scoring four runs in the bottom half to take a 12-4 lead. Buskohl stepped up for Rochelle in the fourth inning, belting a three-run homer to left-center before a two-run double in the fifth inning from junior Eric Briseno sealed the Rochelle victory.
Rochelle completed its doubleheader sweep with a 15-3 win in five innings Saturday afternoon. Linares started on the mound for the Hubs, striking out nine batters over four innings. Meyers went 3-for-3 with a home run, a double, three runs and two RBIs in the nonconference finale.
“The wind helped us a lot and we hit the ball with a lot of confidence,” Meyers said. “The bats came alive over the weekend and we’re hoping they can stay alive for the rest of the season. We have a few things on defense that we need to clean up, but we have a really strong team. It felt really good to bounce back, especially after two frustrating games against Ottawa.”
Trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the second inning, Rochelle exploded for the first of two consecutive seven-run frames. A sacrifice fly from senior Spencer Warborg tied the game before Meyers crushed a two-run homer to center to put the Hubs up 5-2. Junior Braden Alfano slapped a two-run double to left and junior Josh Lloyd followed with an RBI triple to right-center to keep the Hub offense going in the frame. Lloyd eventually scored on an error.
Junior Nate Burdin sent a two-run homer over the right-center field fence in the third inning, giving the Hubs a 10-2 advantage before Warborg immediately followed with a solo shot of his own. An RBI single from Linares and a three-run blast from Alfano made it 15-2 Rochelle. Both teams played a scoreless fourth inning and Indian Creek tacked on one run in the fifth inning.
The Rochelle fresh-soph baseball team defeated Plano 13-2 on Friday and improved to 1-1 overall. Bradley Cooney and Christian Burnette each totaled three RBIs in the win, while Braden Behrens recorded two RBIs. Cooney and Garrett Gensler each scored three runs for the Hubs.
Burnette started on the mound, striking out eight batters and holding Plano to one hit across four innings. Colton O’Rorke threw one inning of relief, recording three strikeouts in the win.