A leadoff error isn’t exactly the way a high school pitcher envisions the beginning of his first varsity start.
No worries for Oswego, though. Carter Turnquist proved one cool customer.
The Panthers’ sophomore stranded West Aurora runners in six of seven innings Friday, striking out six in a complete-game 3-0 shutout in Oswego.
Turnquist allowed four hits and three walks, but never permitted a runner to reach third base. He was rather low-key talking about it afterward.
“It doesn’t really get to me when runners are on,” Turnquist said. “I just have to keep my composure. I know my team has my back.”
Turnquist was a key member of the pitching staff on a 27-win Oswego sophomore team last year for Mark Johnson, now in his first year as the Panthers’ varsity coach.
On Friday, Turnquist was especially clutch in the fourth and fifth innings, each time turning away West Aurora rallies with two runners on to preserve a 2-0 lead. Turnquist got Logan Love to chase a high fastball with two on in the fourth and coaxed a double play to end the fifth.
Prior to Friday, Turnquist had only thrown two innings in relief this season.
“He looks pretty comfortable out there,” Johnson said. “The pitchers that are doing a good job for us are varying their looks and showing that composure on the mound.”
It was a good bounce-back win for Oswego (3-4), swept by rival Oswego East in a three-game series this week.
“It definitely stings losing to our rivals, but it feels good to get this win,” Oswego leadoff hitter Charlie Jakubowski said. “We have to capitalize on this win and stay high like we are today.”
Jakubowski continued his week-long torrid hitting with a two-strike single to start Oswego’s third inning in a scoreless game. Mitch Wilson dropped in a single and, after a sacrifice bunt, Jakubowski beat the throw home on a grounder to first. Wilson scored to make it 2-0 when two West Aurora outfielders collided and dropped a two-out fly ball.
Oswego scored its other run in the sixth courtesy of a West Aurora balk.
Jakubowski, which started the season hitting ninth, went 3-for-4 with a triple. This, after collecting two hits on Thursday and a grand slam Tuesday against Oswego East.
“Maybe it’s the football mentality but he’s just a gamer — a tough hard-nosed kid,” Johnson said. “If he keeps hitting like that he’s going to bat first and third for us.”
Love, another sophomore making his second varsity start for West Aurora (2-5), was a hard-luck loser. He scattered nine hits and a walk with four strikeouts in pitching into the seventh. The Blackhawks, who lost a 4-3 walk-off at Yorkville Thursday, are still waiting for their bats to warm up.
“We just aren’t doing a very good job hitting the ball all the way around,” West Aurora coach John Reeves said. “Our pitchers have been pitching the daylights out of the ball but we haven’t been giving them any support.”
Michael Golich and Jared Liebelt each reached base three times for West Aurora. Wilson and Jake Rock both had two hits for Oswego.