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Hermeling, Spartans Down Deerfield in CSL North Opener

Timely hitting along with Alex Hermeling's 13 strikeouts pushed Glenbrook North past Deerfield 3-2 on Thursday afternoon in Northbrook.

Glenbrook North starter Alex Hermeling wasn't on top of his game, yet the Louisiana-Monroe bound right-hander struck out 13 batters as the Spartans remained unbeaten against in-state opponents, defeating rival Deerfield 3-2 in Northbrook on Thursday in the CSL North opener for both schools.

"I thought Alex did a great job of competing today," said GBN head coach Dominic Savino. "He probably didn't have his best stuff, relative to what we've seen earlier in the year, but the thing that I absolutely loved was how hard he went out there and competed. He gave us six real strong innings."

Hermeling, who has struck out 25 batters in his last 13 innings, allowed two runs on just three hits with one walk before junior Peter Resnick fanned a pair in the seventh to rack up his third save of the season. Both of Hermeling's runs were unearned.

"I've just been really focused," said Hermeling, who improved to 3-1 on the year. "I know I need to get my team back in the dugout as quick as I can so they can go score some runs for me."

Deerfield pinch-runner Andrew Mott scored on a passed-ball in the top of the second and third-baseman Benjamin Browdy did the same in the fourth. While the Warriors were not making excuses after the game, head coach Kevin Marsh said he knew that the recent bad weather, which kept his team out of competition for an entire week, definitely played a roll against the Spartans.

"We're not a football team. We're a baseball team, and you have to keep playing the game in order to stay sharp," Marsh said. "The weather has had a bit of an impact on everybody."

The weather even impacted Thursday's game, which was originally scheduled to take place in Deerfield. Wet field conditions moved the game to Glenbrook North, and Monday's contest will now be held at DHS.

Deerfield's Mark Blakey tossed all six innings for the Warriors, giving up three runs on five hits with two walks. Brett "Boomer" Synek's two-RBI singles to center gave the Spartans an early 2-1 lead in the third, and Doug Mazewski broke a 2-2 tie in the fourth with a slow-roller to third, scoring Jason Scholl on the put-out.

"The team called on me and I answered," said Synek.

"I thought Boomer did a great job at the plate," Savino added. "His single to center was obviously a huge hit, and even his last at-bat (an inning-ending double play), I thought he had a great approach - I was very pleased."

Despite the weather and confusion over where the game would be played, Deerfield still came out aggressive and gave Glenbrook North everything it could handle on another chilly, windy afternoon. The Warriors now know, however, that simply being aggressive won't cut it in league play.

"This is not a chip on our shoulder - what this is is a loss," Marsh stressed. "Walking into this game, we knew they were 12-1 and we weren't. We were both 2-0 in the league, now they're 3-0 and we're walking away 2-1. For us, its a matter of understanding that every day is going to be just like this. When we're playing divisional baseball games or crossovers, they're all tight and a couple of runs make the difference.

"There are a lot of good teams in the league right now."

Of those good teams, Glenbrook North tops the list; the Spartans are on the verge of cracking multiple area top-ten polls, but to Savino and company, the numbers don't mean a thing.

"We take it one game at a time and try to get better each day and that's really all we look at," said the first-year head coach. "We don't look much further down the road than the current day and our players have done a great job of buying into that approach."

Both teams are scheduled to return to the diamond on Saturday morning:

Glenbrook North will look to continue its winning ways in Palatine against Fremd while the Warriors are set to host Warren in Deerfield.

 

 

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