L-W North's Eaton Feasts on Pitching
Phoenix senior Alex Eaton mans hot corner with his glove and manhandles opponents with his bat.
The weather has been anything but accommodating to area high school baseball teams this spring.
Thunderstorms once again disappointed Lincoln-Way West and Lincoln-Way North as the two teams met under the lights Thursday night in Frankfort.
The storms didn’t arrive soon enough to stop Lincoln-Way North third baseman Alex Eaton from swinging his hot bat—at least for one plate appearance.
Eaton clubbed a towering two-run home run in the bottom of the first inning to give the host Phoenix a 2-1 lead, but lightning soon illuminated the sky and the game was postponed.
The round-tripper was nothing new for the Lincoln-Way North senior. He hit two earlier this week.
The Phoenix have been an offensive juggernaut for much of the season in compiling a 21-3 record. After edging Andrew 4-3 on Monday, the Phoenix lit up the scoreboard for an 11-7 win over Benet on Tuesday and then did it again for a 14-6 victory over Lincoln-Way West on Wednesday.
Eaton, who has played third base throughout his career at Lincoln-Way North, has fit in comfortably as the team’s cleanup hitter.
“Our offense has been pretty consistent this year and it all starts with Jack (Irace) leading off,” Eaton said. “Everything else flows from there.”
Eaton has committed to Joliet Junior College, where he’ll continue his baseball career next season.
“I can take the same classes I would take at the University of Illinois for far less … and be a part of a good baseball program,” he said. “Then we’ll see what happens from there.”
Eaton isn’t thinking too far ahead, though, especially with it being his senior year and with him being such a key contributor to a squad with a ridiculous .875 winning percentage.
For now, he’s zoning in each time he steps into the batter’s box.
“I don’t like to be too patient up there, especially batting cleanup, because I don’t get too many good pitches,” he said. “I like to jump on the first fastball I get.”
Still, he’s not getting himself out, as he utilizes a good batting eye.
“It’s all about discipline and patience,” he said. “I look for my pitch, and if I don’t get it we’ve got other guys in the lineup that can come through.”
Eaton’s defense at the hot corner might be overlooked at times because of his success with the bat in his hand. It’s not something he takes lightly, though. He likes his role as a leader with the glove.
“I’m out there looking to make plays and make sure everyone knows what to do,” he said. “It’s not about worrying about messing up, but making plays to help us win."
And Lincoln-Way North is winning a lot.