Baseball: Munster’s Jonathan Azar delivers victory against CP
By Kevin O’Keefe Post-Tribune correspondent April 4, 2013 10:54PM
Munster's Jonathan Azar pitches against Crown Point in the second inning Thursday afternoon at Munster High School. | Jeffrey D. Nicholls~Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 6, 2013 3:58PM
MUNSTER — Munster capitalized on six Crown Point errors, and Jonathon Azar threw a complete game to down the Bulldogs 7-3 on Thursday.
After falling behind 1-0 on an unearned run in the top of the first, Munster jumped on Bulldogs starter Zach Plesac for four runs in the bottom of the second.
“Jonathon Azar did a really nice job for us out there today,” Munster coach Bob Shinkan said. “This is the third game he has pitched in, but he was really focusing on Crown Point. He kept their batters off balance and really mixed his pitches well and really hit his spots.
“Offensively, I liked our patience at the plate. We had a couple of key two-out, two-strike hits from (Alec) Skalka and (Scott) Shaner.”
Skalka really did damage in the four-run second with a bases-clearing double, followed by Shaner’s two-run single in the bottom of the fourth.
The Mustangs also added an unearned run in the bottom of the third as Alex Del Rio reached on a misplayed fly ball, and was driven in by Nick Marlow. Three of the seven runs scored on Plesac were unearned.
The Bulldogs scored a run in the top of the third to cut the deficit to 4-2 as Alex Nickla led off with a double and was driven in by Bobby Morgan. They then cut the Mustang lead to 5-3 in the top of the fourth. Ronnie Plesac led off the inning with a single, followed by Johnny Lynk’s double, and scored on a passed ball.
Azar allowed only one Bulldogs base runner after that.
“I’ve been thinking about this game for a while,” Azar said. “I knew that if I came out throwing strikes, I have a great offense behind me and I had great defense behind me today.”
Azar limited the Bulldogs to only eight baserunners, two hit batters, two reached on errors and he gave up four hits.
“They (Munster) reached down and battled and their pitcher located his pitches well,” Crown Point coach Steve Strayer said. “We did some things today that were out of character for us, we need to eliminate the walks and errors but we’ll take a look at it, correct it quickly and get back on the horse.”