Baseball I-

By Bob Balgemann


ROCKFORD – With one game left, Harlem’s varsity baseball team had gone through the regular season with a 23-7 record, finishing at 17-1 while winning the NIC-10 championship.

Head coach Doug Livingston’s last league game was May 20, at Boylan. His Huskies defeated the Titans, 5-2, to sweep the conference series.

Senior Aaron Cusimano pitched a complete, seven-inning game for his final conference victory.

In an unusual move, coach Livingston took Cusimano out of the game, put him in left field and brought in junion lefty Jake Nimtz to face a left-handed batter. Then he switched them back to the positions they had been playing.

Cusimano only threw 61 pitches over the seven innings and the coach observed, “I told him he threw more pitches in pre-game and warmups.”

Harlem scored early with senior Joey Parsons keeping the first inning alive by collecting a two-out, two-strike single.

Senior Brock Soter had two base hits.

There were some interesting aspects to the game.

The Huskies scored two runs on passed balls.

Back in 1994, coach Livingston’s first varsity conference win came while at Auburn and the game was at Boylan. On May 20, now with Harlem, his last NIC-10 victory came at Boylan. That score was 5-2, the same as in their first meeting earlier this season.

The Huskies’ 17-1 conference record is a new standard for the school in baseball. Two other times, when the league was known as NIC-9, the Huskies won 16 games.

Harlem had one final non-conference game, against  Dundee-Crown, in a tuneup for the regional tournament, which is going on this week.

Interestingly, the first time they met this spring Harlem also won, 5-2.

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