Baseball: Boylan Catholic beats Rochelle in season opener

Junior Brock Metzger fires a pitch during the Rochelle Hub varsity baseball game against Boylan Catholic on Wednesday. (Photo by Russell Hodges)

Hubs held to three hits in 8-1 loss to Titans

ROCKFORD — The Rochelle Hub varsity baseball team teed off the 2023 season on Wednesday, falling 8-1 against Boylan Catholic in nonconference action. Seniors Garrett Gensler and Alex Burnette each singled and reached base twice for the Hubs (0-1, 0-0 Interstate 8), who will host Sterling for a nonconference matchup on Thursday at 4:30 p.m.

“It was nice to see where we’re at and what we need to work on,” head coach Jarrod Reynolds said. “I can’t remember the last time we were able to get a game in before spring break. I’m disappointed with the loss, but I thought we had some moments where we played really well today. We only struck out three times and I thought we did a good job of putting the ball in play.”

Junior Brock Metzger started on the mound for the Hubs, throwing three and two-thirds innings and recording three strikeouts. Boylan Catholic took the early lead on Wednesday, scoring on a fielding error in the top of the second inning for the first run of the game. The Titans barrelled the ball up in the top of the fourth inning, sending multiple line drives into the outfield for base hits. Boylan Catholic tallied three runs in the frame to surge ahead of the Hubs 4-0.

Only one Rochelle baserunner reached over the first five innings. Gensler notched the team’s first hit of the evening, sending a hard grounder through the middle of the infield for a single in the bottom of the fifth inning. While the Hubs made better contact as the game progressed, Rochelle was unable to score its first run until the bottom of the sixth inning, where Brock Metzger reached on an infield single to second that plated freshman brother Brode Metzger.

“I thought we hit the ball better as the game went on,” Reynolds said. “The top of our order really hit the ball well over the last couple of innings. It’s our first game of the season, but I thought we had some good at-bats and we need to build on those so we can have more hits later on. We hit several balls hard during the sixth inning and that was nice to see.”

Rochelle finished with three hits in the loss. Leading 4-0, Boylan Catholic pulled away during the top of the sixth inning, scoring runs on a sacrifice fly and a balk before two more runners came home on a live-drive single into left field to make the score 8-0. Senior Bradley Cooney and junior Dylan Whaley combined to pitch the final three and one-third innings for the Hubs, with Whaley holding the Titans scoreless over one and one-third innings.