By Matt Sobieralski
SOUTH BEND/MISHAWAKA — The smell of fresh grass clippings and warm spring breeze means that it is once again baseball season. This season in the ICCL looks like it could be one of its best with six teams vying for a championship crown. In the first couple of weeks of the season, teams came out of the on-deck circle ready to hit, pitch, and run their way to the top with strong outings by the St. Jude/St. Matthew Falcons, Mishawaka Catholic Saints, and the Christ the King Kings. The good start to the season will only heat up with the summer weather
Opening night for the ICCL season highlighted some impressive performances on the diamond, and more notably the pitching mound. In a game played at Kennedy Park in South Bend, the Holy Cross Crusaders saw some impressive hitting and pitching on their way to defeat the Trojans of Holy Family. The hitting charge was led by Frankie Pennino and Chase Trzaskwoski. Meanwhile an impressive showing on the mound by Dylan Maternowski saw him no-hit the Trojan batting order.
In other games in the first week of play, the Saint Jude/St. Matthew team jumped off to a good start by winning close games. In a game played at Sheridan Park in South Bend, the Falcons relied on Luke Krizman’s two hits and Ben Burnham’s three runs to upend Mishawaka Catholic in a 6-5 thriller. Burnham carried his success from the first week over to a game against the Corpus Christi Cougars, this time his success came on the mound. Burnham threw a complete game shutout to slide past the Cougars 2-0.
The Falcon’s Luke Krizman would keep his hot bat at work as the Falcon’s took flight against the Holy Family Trojans. He led the Falcons with four hits and two runs in a 9-5 victory, while later in the week Ben Burnham pitched a complete game in a 8-2 victory over the Christ the King Kings.
The Holy Cross Crusaders picked up a key victory over the Kings as well to keep pace with the Falcons and Mishawaka Catholic Saints atop the division. The Crusaders stood behind Matt Eck who tossed a complete game three hitter, while Jack Van Meter’s three hits and RBI gave them the push they needed to take down the Kings 3-2.
A key victory for the Corpus Christi Cougars over the Saint Jude/Saint Matthew Falcons gave the Falcons their first loss of the season and opened the door for other teams to jump up in the standings. The Saints of Mishawaka Catholic have tied the Falcons at the top of the league while the red and blue clad Cougars win over Saint Jude/Saint Matthew got them closer to the top as they sit only a game behind the leaders. Meanwhile, Holy Cross and Christ the King are a few games back but will have opportunities in the coming week to make a run for the top spot.
The action will continue this week with games played at Sheridan, Kennedy, and Boland Parks in South Bend.
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