By Bob Kopp

BDR Bucs

Sports Correspondent

BELVIDERE – Completing the third week of conference action at 6-3 and still in the hunt for the NIC-10 title and a deep run in the post-season, the Bucs began the week by overpowering Auburn (9-0), getting past Jefferson (5-4), and stumbling against crosstown rival North (6-3).

Traveling to Auburn, senior Alec Weber pitched six shutout innings while yielding only two hits, recording two Ks, and relying on the Bucs stout defense. Junior Erik Moraza preserved the shutout in the seventh with a K and two groundouts.

Senior Tyler Lass went 3-3, scored three runs, knocked in another, and took one for the team (HBP).

Junior Ryan Snyder blasted a double to the fence in left that would have been a dinger if not for fierce wind keeping the ball in play. Sophomore Josh Kugler added two hits and a RBI.

Hosting Jefferson turned into an unanticipated struggle.

While senior Ryan McKnight was steady to dominant on the mound, striking out eight while walking none, the J-Hawks scored four runs on five hits and three errors by the Bucs.  Sophomore Austin Revolinski got the save with a perfect seventh. Senior Jeff Anderson scored on an RBI single by Weber to close out the scoring for the Bucs’ W.

Host North capitalized on shaky fielding by the Bucs throughout the game and seized the first match-up of the season behind the strong complete game pitching of junior Levon Smith along with the batting and fielding leadership of junior Jared Cantu.

Two infield errors along with a stinging double in the first set the mood for the entire game. While senior standout Lass completed the game and notched seven more Ks and kept the Bucs close despite unusually shaky defense, the game quickly got out of hand in the bottom of the sixth as a late North rally was enabled by another uncharacteristic error by the Bucs.

Apart from their ace, the only highlight for the Bucs was sophomore Anthony Cottcchio’s double and two RBIs.

With more than enough talent and coaching to take on all comers, mettle will be tested in week four as the Bucs host Hononegah on Monday, travel to Boylan on Wednesday, and return home for East on Friday.

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