DIXON – For the Dixon baseball team, there was something much more disturbing than the 13-2, six-inning loss it absorbed from LaSalle-Peru on Monday afternoon.
It was the sight of sophomore ace pitcher Cal Jarrett walking off the mound in the top of the second inning, clutching his right elbow.
Play was stopped early in the inning so Dixon manager Sam Gallucci could check on Jarrett. He tossed some practice pitches to catcher Nate Grocke and pronounced himself fit enough to continue.
Then, with a 3-1 count on the Cavaliers’ Austin Smith, the fifth batter of the inning, Jarrett was done for good. He walked off the mound, rubbing his right elbow all the way to the dugout. He allowed six runs (five earned), five hits and three walks in an inning and a third.
Jarrett’s mother, Lori, is the head of physical therapy at KSB Hospital, and checked out her son’s condition at Veterans Memorial Field. The preliminary diagnosis is a nerve issue.
“After the first pitch to the second batter of the second inning, it started tingling,” Jarrett said of his right elbow, “and after that, it started to hurt. I’ll go to the doctor [today] and get it checked out.”
Jarrett noted he hasn’t had any arm troubles in the past 2 years, and doesn’t anticipate this will be much of a setback.
“It’s swollen right now, but my mom said I need to rest it a little bit, and I should be OK in a couple of days,” Jarrett said.
With upcoming games today and Thursday against L-P, as well as a Saturday doubleheader against DeKalb, the Dukes (4-9, 1-3) found themselves in a tough spot pitching-wise. Gallucci was forced to go with two position players, first baseman Jared Frey and outfielder Brandon Jagitsch, the rest of the way.
Frey lasted 2 2/3 innings, allowing five runs (four earned), five hits and four walks. He didn’t receive much help in the field, as three of the first four batters he faced reached base via errors.
“The last time I pitched was sophomore year,” Frey said, “but Coach has been talking about it here and there because we’re short on pitching. I didn’t expect this in a conference game. I kind of expected it [on Saturday] against Newman, but it felt good.”
Trotting out substitute pitchers isn’t a recipe for success against Northern Illinois Big 12 West leader LaSalle-Peru (8-2, 4-0), which pounded out 12 hits in six innings. Kyle Rothrock drove in four runs, Tyler Brovelli had three RBIs, Smith scored four runs and Bret Storm crossed the plate three times.
Dixon pitchers also issued 11 walks, and six of those came around to score.
“Traditionally we haven’t played very well here,” L-P coach Matt Glupczynski said, “so we took a businesslike approach – get on the bus, come here, take care of business and go home. It started from the first time we stepped in the batter’s box, so I’m very, very pleased.”
Star of the game: Tyler Brovelli (L-P), 2-for-2, 3 RBI
Key performers: Kyle Rothrock (L-P), 1-for-4, 4 RBI; Jared Frey (D), 2-for-3, 2B, R
Up next: Dixon at LaSalle-Peru, 4:30 today