Skoug powers No. 6 Libertyville past No. 12 Mundelein

By Sean Duncan
Executive Director

Evan SkougMUNDELEIN, IL – Libertyville catcher Evan Skoug has played in his share of high-profile games across the country over the course of his decorated prep career. But any time he and the Wildcats play North Suburban Lake rival Mundelein, there’s always a little extra adrenaline involved.

On Tuesday before a healthy crowd, Skoug channeled his adrenaline to power No. 6 Libertyville to a 3-1 victory over No. 12 Mundelein in the first of a critical North Suburban Lake two-game series.

The 5-foot-11, 205-pound Texas Christian recruit went 3-for-3, including an opposite-field home run into the teeth of the wind to left-centerfield in the sixth inning. And for good measure, Skoug put the final stamp on the game when he threw out a runner stealing second base after a strikeout to end Mundelein’s seventh-inning rally.

“This series has always been super-heated,” said Skoug, who is ranked No. 3 in Illinois’ 2014 class. “Last year they swept us, so it feels good to win one here.”

Libertyville (19-3, 7-0) was seemingly in cruise control behind unsigned senior right-hander Jeff Barton (5-0). The 6-foot-4, 190-pound Barton had yielded only three hits through six innings and Mundelein (22-2, 5-2) hadn’t seriously threatened.

That is, until the seventh inning.

Right fielder Luke Adams opened the inning with a single, and junior third baseman followed with a run-scoring double down the left-field line, making it 3-1. Mundelein strung together its third straight hit when Ryan Hollander delivered another single, putting runners on first and third with no outs. Barton induced a shallow fly out to left field to get the first out.

The next batter, Barton struck out looking, and the runner was in motion. Skoug came up firing and threw a one-hop strike to second base to end the game.

“I wish we didn’t have to make it that close,” Skoug said. “But that’s the type of ballclub they are.”

Barton allowed six hits, struck out three and walked none in his complete-game effort. Barton’s counterpart, unsigned senior right-hander Adam Turner (5-1) was equally as impressive. The 6-foot-2, 160-pound Turner yielded five hits, struck out six, walked one and hit one batter.

Only two players other than Skoug mustered hits off Turner, who used a highly effective fastball-slider combination to keep the Wildcats off balance. Senior third baseman Hunter Van Wagner ripped a run-scoring double to left field in the fourth inning. Conor Simpson had an infield single in the first, and eventually scored on Mitch Townsend's sacrifice fly.

Peterson paced Mundelein, going 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles, and Hollander also had two hits for the Mustangs.

The two teams will square off again in Libertyville on Tuesday at 4:30 pm.

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