PLANO — Junior left-hander Braden Alfano was locked in from the first pitch of the Rochelle Hub varsity baseball game against Plano on Tuesday. Alfano struck out 13 batters over six innings, allowing only one run on three hits as the Hubs defeated the Reapers 7-1 in the first of a two-game Interstate 8 Conference series. Rochelle improved to 3-2 overall with the win.
"My fastball was working really well and they weren't able to hit it," Alfano said. "I went to my offspeed pitches when I had to and my guys made plays for me. It's a lot easier on me when my teammates are making plays in the field. We started our season slow, but we're getting it going now and we need to keep it going."
Senior Evan Meyers led off with a solo home run in the first inning to put the Hubs ahead 1-0. Meyers plated another run in the second inning, hitting a sacrifice fly to score junior Nate Burdin and give Rochelle a 2-0 advantage. Senior Reese Kirk came through for the Hubs in the third inning, slapping an RBI single to the left side to score junior Andy Buskohl.
Plano bounced back with one run in the bottom of the fifth inning, but Rochelle put the game out of reach with a four-run sixth inning. Burdin scored on a passed ball before Buskohl brought home junior Eric Briseno with an RBI double to right-center. With the Hubs leading 5-1, Alfano pulled an RBI single to right and then scored on Kirk’s RBI single two at-bats later.
The Rochelle fresh-soph baseball team shut out Plano 12-0 on Tuesday, improving to 2-1 overall with the win. Alex Burnette shined on the pitcher’s mound, striking out 10 batters and allowing only one hit over five innings of work. Burnette also went 1-for-2 with two RBIs.
Brock Metzger finished 2-for-2 with two runs scored in the victory, while Christian Burnette went 2-for-3 with two singles and three RBIs. Dylan Whaley and Bradley Cooney each totaled two RBIs in the game, with Brad Schabacker and Brandon Moody each adding one RBI.