A Three-Run First Propels No. 2 Brother Rice Over No. 13 Homewood-Flossmoor


By: Adam Panayotovich
Area Scout

CHICAGO, IL - The No. 13  Homewood-Flossmoor Vikings traveled to Brother Rice to take on the No. 2 Crusaders in a Saturday matinee clash. It was a new look for Vikings coach John McCarthy as he took the visiting dugout wearing the H-F red and white seeing as last year he donned the Crusader maroon and burnt orange. Sean McCarthy, the now head coach for Brother Rice, seemed to have a game plan and a good one at that, as they defeated a very young and athletic Vikings squad 7-1.

In the highly anticipated matchup, the Vikings sent out junior LHP Isaiah Coupet (Ohio State commit) to toe the rubber who's already made noise in his prep career. Coupet went two innings in the start on 51 pitches allowing four hits, three earned runs and four walks with one punch out. The ‘stuff’ is prevalent for the projectable southpaw who sat in the mid to upper 80’s with a wipeout breaker, but the Crusaders game plan to ‘attack the fastball’ caused Coupet trouble early.

After a three up, three down top half of the first for H-F, Brother Rice sent all nine to the plate in the bottom half. Leadoff man Kendall Pettis (Oklahoma commit)  jumped on a fastball pulling a single down the left field line and Michael Bolton (Purdue commit) turned a quality at-bat into a walk. Benji Brokemond (Miami (OH) commit) bunted safely loading the bases for a Marquis Jackson (Oklahoma commit) sac fly deep to right field scoring the first Crusader run. Three walks and two runs later, Brother Rice took an early three-run cushion and never looked back.

The Crusaders would tack on one more in the 3rd without collecting a hit. Ryan Maher (Heartland CC commit) and Danny Doligale (Illinois commit) both walked and stole bases setting up Michael Hopkins (John Carroll commit) for a sacrifice fly deep to right field.

More of the same in the next frame as Brother Rice would tack on three more runs without a single hit. Pettis and Bolton reached via walk and HBP and Jack Payton (Louisville commit) sent a fly ball to center field, both runners tagged. On the attempt to make a play on the trail runner at second, cut off man Tre Hondras (Michigan commit) made an errant throw scoring both Pettis and Bolton. Brokemond then walked, stole second, advanced to third on another errant throw and Jackson sacrificed Brokemond home.

The Vikings made their noise in the 5th innings on three singles from Tyrone Simpson (Robert Morris commit), William Pauling and Xavier Frazier scoring one run. Jorge Santos (South Suburban JC commit) reached on a fielder’s choice and came around to score on the line drive single to left by Frazier.  

There was nothing sophomore Crusader starter RHP Sebastian Barrera did that showed his classification. The durably built right-hander pounded the zone all day with three pitches going four innings on two hits, one walk and striking out four. He stranded a runner in the first, the third and two in the fourth making big pitch after big pitch. Eli Sweiss nailed it down with two punch outs in the final frame.

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