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Articles written by Drake Skleba


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  • Louck pitches, hits Plainfield East past top-seeded Brother Rice and into the Class 4A final four

    Drake Skleba, For the Bugle|Updated Jul 27, 2021

    Plainfield East super-sophomore left-hander, Brady Louck is a man of very few words. The 16-year old Louck lets his powerful left arm and his powerful bat at the plate do his talking for him. On Monday night in the Class 4A Crestwood Supersectional, Louck fired a two-hit shutout, striking out 13 top-seeded Brother Rice (29-11) hitters and led his No.13-seeded Bengals (17-15) to a 3-0 victory and the first-ever state final four appearance for East. At the plate, Louck had a per...

  • JCA soccer not angel-like as it buries St. Ignatius in Class 2A Semifinal

    Drake Skleba, For the Bugle|Updated Jul 13, 2021

    There is one thing that the 2021 Joliet Catholic Academy Angels varsity soccer team likes to do more than anything and that is scoring goals. Entering Friday's IHSA Class 2A State Semifinal at Fremd High School, the Angels averaged 5.9 goals-per-game. In their 3-game Class 2A sectional sweep of Ottawa (14-0) Oak Forest (7-1) and Lemont (10-0), the average was an unheard of 10.1 goals-per-game. JCA was more would be angelic, taking it easy on Peoria Notre Dame in Monday's...

  • Bengals shock Class 4A; hold off Lake Park for state baseball championship

    Drake Skleba, For the Enterprise|Updated Jul 13, 2021
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    When history looks back at the 2021 Plainfield East varsity baseball team, the only word that will be used to describe the improbable run to a state championship is 'Amazing.' A No. 13 in the Class 4A Crestwood Supersectional complex few, if any, thought the baseball world would witness what it did at 9:28 p.m. on Saturday, June 19 at DuPage Medical Group Field in Joliet. Leading the 31-3 Lake Park Lancers 6-5 in the top of the seventh, Bengals closer, junior Christian...

  • Clock has not run out on Cinderella Bengals

    Drake Skleba, For the Enterprise|Updated Jun 21, 2021

    In the insane 2021 IHSA boys varsity baseball season, the Plainfield East Bengals (16-15) finished the regular season with a 12-15 record, which resulted in a lowly No.13 seed in the Sectional 6 complex. A No.13 seed with a 12-15 record advancing to the IHSA Class 4A Crestwood Supersectional would be considered a Cinderella story on the East Side of Plainfield. Not so fast. The Bengals showed they were more like a rising young debutant than the lowly rags-to-riches Cinderella. East opened the tournament by dispatching the...

  • Tigers four-run fourth inning, Hogan hold off valiant Minooka as Joliet West wins sectional semifinal 4-1

    Drake Skleba, For the Bugle|Updated Jun 10, 2021

    On Wednesday in the IHSA Class 4A Sectional 6 semifinal at Minooka, Joliet West's 6-foot-7 super-sophomore southpaw Conner Hogan improved to 8-0 on the mound, pitching his Tigers to a 4-1 victory over the host Indians. The Tigers scored all four of the runs Hogan would need in the top of the fourth inning. Hogan scattered eight hits in his complete-game performance, allowing one unearned run, striking out seven and walking one. Hogan used his quality baseball IQ to come up with the play of the game in the Minooka bottom of...

  • Yorkville survives valiant Tigers 11-10 to take home Class 4A Plainfield North Regional championship

    Drake Skleba, For the Enterprise|Updated Jun 9, 2021

    On Tuesday in their 2021 IHSA Class 4A Plainfield North Regional championship game, the host Tigers trailed their Southwest Prairie Conference West rivals from Yorkville 11-5. The regional championship game moved to the Tigers' bottom of the seventh. Yorkville took two of the three SPC West games in the regular season and on Tuesday unleashed an 11-run, 13-hit attack on the Tiger pitching staff for the 11-5 lead. The Tigers loaded the bases with one out when junior Brandon Bak hammered a shot that appeared to be heading over...

  • Cougars, Kelliher overcome Mother Nature and the 'Ville,12-6, to claim 2021 Class 4A Plainfield South Regional crown

    Drake Skleba, For the Bugle|Updated Jun 8, 2021

    In their IHSA 2021 Class 4A Plainfield South Regional Championship game, the host Cougars fell behind 6-0 after 1 1/2 innings of play. Cougar senior right-handed starting pitcher Tylor Phommachanhom was knocked out after giving up six runs, three earned, and seven hits in just two innings of work. Enter Cougars junior right-hander Matt Kelliher. Kelliher (4-2), from his first pitch of the game, through his game-ending pitch to close out Romeoville in the top of the seventh was a man possessed. Kelliher fired five hitless inni...

  • More Minooka 2-out magic, Cook blanks Moline for 4A Minooka Regional championship

    Drake Skleba, For the Bugle|Updated Jun 7, 2021

    Great pitching. Solid defense. Clutch hitting. The three basic principles of Minooka Indians baseball under the tutelage of their manager Jeff Petrovic. Minooka (19-10) senior starting right-hander Jake Cook improved to 4-1 on the mound, allowing just two hits in his 5 1/3 scoreless innings of work against Moline (20-16) on Monday. Fellow senior right-hander Josh Davis fired 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief to combine with Cook for a 5-0, three-hit shutout of Moline to become 2021 Class 4A Minooka Regional champions. The...

  • Hogan improves to 7-0 as the Tigers hold off Bradley-Bourbonnais 9-8 in Regional D semifinal

    Drake Skleba, For the Bugle|Updated Jun 5, 2021

    West Side of Joliet. IHSA Class 4A Regional D semifinal on Friday afternoon. Joliet West 9, Bradley-Bourbonnais 8 One out. Top 7. Boilermaker runner on first base. Enter Joliet West senior reliever Camden Karczewski. Karczewski, who is the son of Tigers' head coach John Karczewski, appeared in just his third game of the season on the mound. 3 2/3 innings were all that Karczewski had logged in the 2021 season. On this day, Karczewski threw one pitch to nail down the save for Tiger sophomore starting pitcher Conner Hogan...

  • Steelmen two out magic", Rocha blank Pekin 8-0; No.1 seed Minooka next

    Drake Skleba, For the Bugle|Updated Jun 2, 2021

    Two-out magic — A phenomenon that has swept the Enterprise/Bugle high school baseball coverage area this spring. From as far north as Park Ridge and as far south as Minooka, area baseball teams have been scoring all or most of their runs after two outs in an inning. Another example of two out magic occurred in downtown Joliet on Wednesday. In their opening game of the 2021 IHSA State Baseball Tournament, the Steelmen of Joliet Central (3-24) defeated Pekin 8-0. The game was a Class 4A, Regional C play-in game. The Steelmen s...

  • Hinsdale Central holds off DGS in battle of WSC Division Champions

    Drake Skleba, For the Bugle|Updated Jun 1, 2021

    On a cool Memorial Day morning in Downers Grove, the West Suburban Conference Silver Division champions from Hinsdale Central squared off with the WSC Gold champions from Downers Grove South. No WSC championship game implications were involved in the game. Hinsdale Central (19-3) exploded for six runs in the top of the third inning for a 6-0 lead and held off the host Mustangs (23-3) for a 7-6 WSC crossover win. After the Red Devils scored six in the top of the third inning, the Mustangs pulled within 6-2 on a RBI double...

  • Tigers' 7-run fourth inning leads the North past the South in Plainfield's 'Civil War'

    Drake Skleba, For the Enterprise|Updated May 30, 2021

    In their final Southwest Prairie Conference crossover on Saturday, the SPC West's Plainfield North Tigers and the SPC East's Plainfield South Cougars met in another edition of Plainfield's Civil War. Trailing 1-0 as the game entered the bottom of the fourth, the Tigers (16-9) scored seven runs, six after two outs, and roll to a 7-1 victory. Plainfield North starting and winning pitcher Ethan Cook (3-1) allowed an unearned run and three hits in his game-winning, 5 2/3 innings of work on the mound. Junior Alec Mickenbecker clos...

  • Spectacular comeback lifts Maine South

    Drake Skleba, For the Bugle|Updated May 26, 2021
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    Charity was on full display in Wednesday's Central Suburban League South battle between the CSL South co-leaders from Maine South and their arch rivals from New Trier. On Tuesday at historic Duke Childs Field in Winnetka, Maine South (19-11, 11-4) scored five times in the top of the first and went on to crush the rival Trevians 11-1 in six innings. On Wednesday in Park Ridge, in the top of the first inning, New Trier (18-11, 9-6) scored nine runs on just four hits to open a seemingly insurmountable 9-0 lead after 1/2 inning....

  • Indians fall 1-0 as Oswego clinches SPC West championship

    Drake Skleba, For the Bugle|Updated May 26, 2021

    After Oswego's 14-1 in five-inning, Southwest Prairie Conference West victory over Minooka on Monday, the Panthers (17-6, 10-4) were one victory away from an SPC West series win and an outright SPC West title. On Tuesday at Oswego's Jackie's Field of Dreams, the host Panthers defeated the Indians 1-0. With the win, the Panthers wrap up the best-of-three SPC West series and claim the 2021 outright SPC West championship. The two clubs will conclude their three game series in Minooka on Thursday. A Minooka (15-10, 9-5) win on...

  • Indians, Oswego tied atop Southwest Prairie West, after Oswego's blow-out victory on Monday

    Drake Skleba, For the Bugle|Updated May 24, 2021

    Opportunity lost? A definite yes The SPC West-leading Minooka Indians had a one-game lead over the second place Panthers of Oswego heading into the first of three SPC West season-ending games with the Panthers on Monday. With a win the Indians would clinch at least a share of the SPC West title. Oswego (16-6, 9-4) scored 12-runs in the top of the fourth inning and went on to crush the Indians 14-1 in five innings to pull into a first-place tie with Minooka (15-9, 9-4) atop the SPC West standings. Opportunity lost. "We had a c...

  • L-W East makes quick work of Porters in 1st of 2 SWSC Blue showdowns

    Drake Skleba, For the Bugle|Updated May 22, 2021

    In the first of two Southwest Suburban Conference Blue Division showdowns between the SWSC Blue first place Lincoln-Way East Griffins (19-2, 3-0) and the second place Lockport Porters (13-9, 2-2), Griffins won 12-2 in five innings. After Griffins starting, and winning, left-handed pitcher Joey Bolton (8-0) set the Porters down 1-2-3 in the top of the first, the Griffins bats went to work against Porters junior starting pitcher David Zaragoza. L-W East scored five runs, highlighted by a three-run homer by Griffins third...

  • Tigers sweep away Plainfield South for SPC East title share behind fantastic-frosh Anderson

    Drake Skleba, For the Bugle|Updated May 21, 2021

    Entering Monday's crucial Southwest Prairie Conference Eastern Division three-game series, the Tigers of Joliet West and the defending SPC champion Cougars of Plainfield South were tied atop the SPC East with identical 8-1 records. In 11 thrilling-innings on Monday, on Plainfield's south side, the Tigers slipped past the Cougars 2-1. On Tuesday, on Joliet's West Side, the Tigers won going away 8-4 as Mother Nature provided an annoying, seven-inning drizzle on the proceedings. On Thursday, back in Plainfield, Joliet West...

  • AREA BASEBALL ROUNDUP MONDAY MAY 10

    Drake Skleba, For the Bugle|Updated May 10, 2021

    WEST SUBURBAN GOLD DOWNERS GROVE SOUTH 10 ADDISON TRAIL 0 (FIVE INNINGS) Another five-inning WSC Gold affair for the Mustangs (14-1, 12-1). Senior Noah Edders (1-0) fired a one-hitter with eight strikeouts at the over-matched Trailblazers (5-6, 4-4). Senior Cole Wareheim singled, hit his second home run and drove home two Mustang runs, while Maxx Palenik and John Szalko each singled and had two RBI. Edders helped himself at the plate with a single, double and an RBI. SOUTHWEST PRAIRIE EAST PLAINFIELD CENTRAL 7 ROMEOVILLE 1 Th...

  • A family affair: Minooka's Petrovic earns win No. 400

    Drake Skleba, For the Bugle|Updated May 10, 2021

    On May 3 about 5:15 p.m., Minooka High School varsity baseball coach Jeff Petrovic, joined an elite group of Illinois high school baseball coaches with 400 coaching wins. Petrovic's Indians, in a game that resembled an IHSA Class 4A supersectional, defeated Plainfield North and friend, head coach John Darlington, 2-1. The game epitomized the three elements of baseball that Petrovic and all his associate coaches have been teaching Minooka Indian teams, for 18 years - great...

  • No.1 Cougars, Morris hold off valiant Schmitt and the Bengals in SPC East

    Drake Skleba, For the Bugle|Updated May 10, 2021

    On an unseasonably cold, windy May afternoon, Plainfield South senior right hander Will Morris toed the rubber versus Plainfield East senior right-hander Gavin Schmitt. In a classic pitcher's-duel, Morris (3-0) out-dueled Schmitt as the top-ranked Cougars (10-1, 6-1) prevailed 2-1 over the valiant Bengals (5-9, 3-4) The game was the first of three of this week's Southwest Prairie East series. All three runs allowed in the contest were unearned. Morris allowed two hits and Schmitt allowed three. Schmitt struck out a career...

  • AREA BASEBALL ROUNDUP MONDAY MAY 3

    Drake Skleba, For the Bugle|Updated May 4, 2021

    SOUTHWEST PRAIRIE EAST PLAINFIELD SOUTH 10 AT PLAINFIELD CENTRAL 5 The SPC East co-leading Cougars (7-0, 4-0) were trailing 3-2 when they exploded for six runs in the top of the third inning and roll to their seventh consecutive victory. Junior Zander Tubbs (1-for-4, HR, 3RBI) launched a three-run bomb over the left field fence for a 5-3 Cougs' lead. Freshman Blake Phommachanhom's (2-for-4, 2RBI) two-run single extended the South lead to 7-3. South scored on a Wildcat miscue to make it 8-3 after two and a half innings. The...

  • Mustangs crush Hinsdale South again; Look for WSC Gold series sweep on Saturday

    Drake Skleba, For the Bugle|Updated Apr 30, 2021

    Downers Grove South senior Matt Scolan is seeing the baseball very well - thank you. With his Mustangs leading 12-3 over arch rival Hinsdale South, in the bottom of the sixth, Scolan stepped up to the plate. On first base was Mustang senior Richie Pecenka, who's two-RBI single made it 12-3 Mustangs. Scolan, who had hit for the cycle in Thursday's Mustangs 10-0 win at Hinsdale South, had a double and a triple in Friday's game. Add a walk-off RBI double to his batting log, scoring Pecenka and giving the Mustangs the 13-3...

  • Bengals, Bailey rally past Plainfield Central 4-3, for SPC East series winner

    Drake Skleba, For the Enterprise|Updated Apr 30, 2021

    Plainfield East senior catcher Mike Bailey loves to swing the bat against his Bengals' rivals from Plainfield Central. In Tuesday's 13-2 Bengals Southwest Prairie Conference East, the middle game of three game series victory, Bailey drove home seven runs. Plainfield Central won 13-3 on Monday in the series opener. In the rubber game Thursday on Plainfield's East Side, Bailey had a single in three at bats against Central ace, junior Carter Prochaska. In the East bottom of the sixth, with Plainfield Central up 3-1, Prochaska...

  • FINAL FOOTBALL STATS

    Drake Skleba, For the Bugle|Updated Apr 29, 2021

    PASSING atttempts completions yards touchdowns interceptions Brett Winiecki Plainfield East 108- 73-1,402-16-1 Vince Meschi Bolingbrook 189-104-1,287- 7-8 Ryan Dawson Downers Grove S 96- 65- 956- 9-2 Josh Davis Minooka 126- 74- 851- 9-1 Rowan Keefe Maine South 98- 62- 836- 4-1 Chris Leto Plainfield Central 132- 60- 736- 7-5 Aidan Voss Joliet Catholic 50- 29- 682 8-2 Riley Pfeiffer Lockport 60- 31 484 4-5 Skyar Crudup Joliet West 81 38 442 6-5 Carl Bew Joliet Central 100- 43- 361- 3-8 Adam Smith Plainfield North 82 38 338 3-4...

  • ENTERPRISE/BUGLE NEWSPAPERS BASEBALL ROUNDUP FOR TUESDAY APRIL 27

    Drake Skleba, For the Bugle|Updated Apr 28, 2021

    SOUTHWEST PRAIRIE EAST PLAINFIELD SOUTH 14 JOLIET CENTRAL 0 Plainfield South (4-0, 2-0) senior Max Peters fired a one-hit shutout at the Steelemen (1-7, 0-2) with 11 strikeouts. Brennan Phillips had a pair of singles, two doubles and drove home seven Cougar runs. Tylor Phommachanhom and Jeremy McGuigan homered for the Cougars. JOLIET WEST 15 ROMEOVILLE 10 The Tigers (4-5, 2-0) kept pace atop the SPC East with Plainfield South (4-0, 2-0) with the slugfest win over the 'Ville (3-6, 0-2). Josh Wokurka singled, homered and drove...

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