Cubs

CSN's Top 20 preps rankings - Week 4

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CSN's Top 20 preps rankings - Week 4

Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011Posted: 9:50 p.m.

By Joe Collins and Taylor Bell
CSNChicago.com

WATCH: High School Lites, Week 3

1. Maine South (3-0)
Last Week (Ranked No. 1): Defeated Deerfield 48-7
Next Game: Friday vs. Niles North, 7:30 p.m.
READ: Alviti, Preston carry Maine South to easy win
2. Glenbard West (3-0)
Last Week (Ranked No. 2): Defeated Lyons 31-3
Next Game: Saturday vs. Hinsdale Central, 1:30 p.m.

READ: Balogh leads rushing attack for Glenbard West

3. Mount Carmel (3-0)
Last Week (Ranked No. 3): Defeated De La Salle 40-7
Next Game: Saturday at St. Joseph, 1:30 p.m.

READ: Lenti ties win record with Mount Carmel victory

4. Lincoln-Way East (3-0)
Last Week (Ranked No. 4): Defeated Lockport 38-7
Next Game: Friday at Homewood-Flossmoor, 7:30 p.m.

5. Joliet Catholic (3-0)
Last Week (Ranked No. 5): Defeated Peoria Richwoods 63-34
Next Game: Friday vs. St. Viator at Joliet Memorial Stadium, 7 p.m.

6. Homewood-Flossmoor (3-0)
Last Week (Ranked No. 6): Defeated Lincoln-Way Central 42-7
Next Game: Friday vs. Lincoln-Way East, 7:30 p.m.

7. Glenbard North (3-0)
Last Week (Ranked No. 7): Defeated West Chicago 42-0
Next Game: Friday at Glenbard East, 7:30 p.m.

8. Loyola (3-0)
Last Week (Ranked No. 8): Defeated Lake Forest Academy 48-13
Next Game: Friday at Providence, 7:30 p.m.

9. Downers Grove South (3-0)
Last Week (Ranked No. 9): Defeated Morton 56-0
Next Game: Friday at Leyden, 7:30 p.m.

10. Carmel (2-1)
Last Week (Ranked No. 10): Defeated Notre Dame 26-7
Next Game: Friday vs. Marian Catholic, 7:30 p.m.

11. St. Rita (2-1)
Last Week (Ranked No. 11): Defeated Fenwick 42-0
Next Game: Friday at Brother Rice, 7:30 p.m.

12. Prairie Ridge (3-0)
Last Week (Ranked No. 12): Defeated Huntley 43-2
Next Game: Friday vs. Dundee-Crown, 7:30 p.m.

13. Bolingbrook (3-0)
Last Week (Ranked No. 13): Defeated Joliet Central 60-6
Next Game: Friday vs. Joliet West, 7:30 p.m.
14. Crete-Monee (3-0)
Last Week (Ranked No. 14): Defeated Moline 37-13
Next Game: Saturday vs. Glenbard South, 1:30 p.m.

15. Lake Zurich (2-1)
Last Week (Ranked No. 16): Defeated Warren 33-14
Next Game: Friday vs. Lakes, 7:30 p.m.

16. Wheaton Warrenville South (1-2)
Last Week (Ranked No. 17): Defeated West Aurora 20-6
Next Game: Friday at Naperville North, 7:30 p.m.

17. Crystal Lake South (3-0)
Last Week (Unranked): Defeated Cary-Grove 10-7
Next Game: Friday vs. Huntley, 7:30 p.m.

READ: Birthday boy lifts Gators to upset

18. Morris (3-0)
Last Week (Ranked No. 18): Defeated Streator 55-6
Next Game: Friday at Ottawa, 7:30 p.m.

19. Cary-Grove (2-1)
Last Week (Ranked No. 15): Lost to Crystal Lake South 10-7
Next Game: Saturday vs. Hampshire, 1:30 p.m.

20. Montini (2-1)
Last Week (Ranked No. 19): Defeated Marmion 13-6
Next Game: Friday at Marian Central, 7:30 p.m.

Lurking and Looming: Brother Rice, Providence, Oak Forest, Geneva,
Lemont, Stevenson, Addison Trail, Antioch, Wheaton North, Naperville
Central, St. Patrick, Simeon, Streamwood, Sandburg.

Basket Slam: Wrigley's quirks come to Cubs' aid in walk-off win

Basket Slam: Wrigley's quirks come to Cubs' aid in walk-off win

The Wrigley Field basket has played a huge role in this week's Cubs-Reds series.

In Monday night's game, Cincinnati catcher Curt Casali hit a game-tying homer into the basket in the seventh inning of a game the Cubs went on to lose.

But the basket giveth and the basket also taketh away.

Tuesday night, it was Kyle Schwarber and the Cubs who were singing the praises of one of the strangest ballpark quirks in baseball.

Schwarber connected on a walk-off homer in the bottom of the 10th inning off Reds closer Raisel Iglesias, hitting a fly ball through the impossibly-humid air and into the basket in left-centerfield for a 4-3 Cubs win.

"Whoever thought about that basket — whenever that occurred — tell them, 'thank you,'" Joe Maddon said. "Although it did work against us [Monday]. When it works for you, it's awesome."

Schwarber has stood under the left-field basket many times with his back against the wall, thinking he might be able to make a play on a high fly ball only to see it settle into the wickets and turn into a chance for a Bleacher Bum to show off their arm. 

But is he a huge fan of the basket now that it worked in his favor?

"I guess so," Schwarber laughed. "Yesterday, it cost us, but today, it helped us out. It's just the factor of Wrigley Field. Happy it worked out today."

It was Schwarber's first career walk off RBI of any kind.

It was the Cubs' fourth walk-off homer of the season, but their first since May 11 when Willson Contreras called "game" on the Milwaukee Brewers. 

The Cubs are now 4-1 since the All-Star Break and hold a 2.5-game lead in the division.

Dylan Cease struggles early, but finishes strong in second White Sox start

Dylan Cease struggles early, but finishes strong in second White Sox start

Dylan Cease picked up a win in his first start, but his second did not go as well.

Cease pitched six innings Tuesday at the Royals and gave up six runs (four earned) on eight hits and a walk. He struck out seven, but took the loss in an ugly game for the White Sox.

The game got off to an ominous start with Eloy Jimenez getting injured on the first batter Cease faced. The White Sox defense didn’t help Cease much either with three errors (Cease had one of those on an errant pickoff throw).

After giving up six runs in the first four innings, Cease settled down to retire the final eight batters he faced. He finished with seven strikeouts against just one walk and threw 67 of his 108 pitches for strikes.

Cease struck out six in his first start and is the first pitcher in White Sox history to strike out six or more in each of his first two career appearances.

A deeper look at Cease’s numbers show his swing and miss stuff hasn’t quite caught on as expected so far. Cease got 13 swinging strikes in 101 pitches in his major league debut. He got 12 whiffs on 108 pitches on Tuesday. His slider did get five swinging strikes on 25 pitches against the Royals.

Fastball command remains a key part to Cease’s success. He only threw 26 out of 54 fastballs for strikes in his debut. Cease improved upon that with 31 strikes on 50 fastballs against the Royals.

Most of the Royals’ damage came against Cease’s fastball as well. Six of the Royals’ eight hits off Cease, including all three extra base hits, were off heaters. Cease also gave up four hits with two strikes.

There has been plenty of hype surrounding Cease since he joined the White Sox, but he hasn’t hit the ground running in the majors just yet. Having 13 days between the first two starts of his career due to the all-star break and the White Sox giving him some extra rest also isn’t the ideal scenario for a young pitcher.

Cease’s ERA is now at 5.73, which isn’t going to set the world on fire. Still, there have been enough positives in his first two starts to see where reasonable improvement could lead to Cease becoming the pitcher the White Sox expect him to be.

 

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