Now that he’s firmly in the Cornhusker world, University of Nebraska-bound senior Bryce Only won’t need a videotape to show other colleges.
If he hadn’t, Thursday’s baseball game against Crystal Lake Central – with his pitching and bat – would have been enough to impress them.
“That was Bryce’s best pitching performance in four years,’’ Huntley coach Andy Jakubowski said.
Only battled Tigers left-hander Jacob Roley for three tight innings. The unbeaten Red Raiders (6-0) took over from there, beating the Tigers, 16-2, in five innings.
“Tyler [Mindak] caught a great, great game,’’ Only said. “And Colin (Lyman) played a great game in center field.”
Only threw hard and changed speeds effectively. At the plate, he waited for his second at-bat of the fourth inning for an RBI.
In the fifth and final inning, he sent a ball over the center field fence for a solo homer. That followed a three-run blast from fellow senior Kam Sallee.
“We have a good hitting team,’’ Only said. “We are a great overall hitting team.”
To start this one-sided contest, there wasn’t much hitting going on. Huntley had a base runner in each of the first two innings but failed to advance them. Central catcher Colin Telmanik had the Tigers’ first hit in the second but didn’t advance past second base.
By the Huntley fourth inning, after 11 hitters came to the plate, the game was no longer in doubt. Lyman scored a pair of runs and drove in another one in the eight-run frame.
At the bottom of the lineup, Jake Wagner drove in a pair of runs with an opposite field single.
“It was a good game for three innings,’’ Central coach Dan Badgley said. “And then it snowballed on us. Guys put their heads down. We beat Carmel [Wednesday], so we’ll see how they respond.”
The Tigers (2-2) responded in the bottom of the fourth, reaching Only for two runs, all with two outs. Three straight singles from Parker Harold, Tanner Larkins and Nate Klyczek scored a pair of runs.
Huntley wasn’t quite through with their offensive production. In the visitor’s fifth inning, the homer bats helped bring the game to an early end. Huntley closed with seven runs in the final inning.
In his four innings of work on the mound, Only struck out five. Lyman closed out the game, striking out two of the three hitters he faced.
Mindak reached base all three times with a pair of walks and a hustling double.