Baseball: Cibrario has stepped up for Libertyville
Libertyville pitcher Kyle Cibrario, seen here during earlier action, has been solid on the mound. | Michael Schmidt~Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 28, 2012 8:26AM
Even though senior right-hander Kyle Cibrario has been penciled in as the No. 2 starter for Libertyville’s varsity baseball team since the beginning of the season, he’s refused to take the opportunity for granted.
That kind of competitive spirit is a big reason why Libertyville had a 12-6 overall record heading into this week’s showdown against two-time defending North Suburban Conference champion Stevenson. The Wildcats are also 3-1 in the NSC Lake Division, putting them right in the thick of things behind division leading Mundelein (18-3, 6-0).
“I’d say that everyone who’s backing up a position on our roster is doing just as much work as the starters,” Cibrario said. “He’s trying to beat the (other) guy out … I mean, that’s a good thing. As a starter, you want the guy behind you to be trying just as hard as you are. That’s one of the key things I’ve been seeing the entire season.”
His numbers have been impressive. He leads the team in wins with a 4-1 record, and has a stellar 1.95 ERA. Cibrario has also struck out 26 batters in 28 2/3 innings — which includes a pair of complete games.
“Since last season, his velocity’s increased, he’s got better command of his second and third pitches — his breaking ball — and he throws a splitter,” said Libertyville coach Jim Schurr. “Overall, he’s had better mound presence, and I think he attacks the zone a little more since he first played varsity. Last year I kind of felt like, with him being an underclassman, a junior, I think he was a little more trepidatious in his approach. He’s pitching like a seasoned veteran. He goes after guys.”
Cibrario has been offered a half-scholarship from the College of Lake County, in Grayslake, and plans on pitching for the Lancers in 2013.
Recap: Nick Carlucci, Alex Gough, Dereck Ioos and Alec Semersky all saw time on the mound in the Wildcats’ 27-4 NSC crossover win over North Chicago on Monday.
Semersky is one of the few area pitchers who throw submarine-style, which is lower than a traditional sidearm pitch. His arm drops well below his waist when he delivers the ball.
“I used to always throw closer to three-quarters of sidearm,” Semersky said. “Two years ago, I decided to drop down even lower, because I noticed I got more movement on my pitches that way.”
He also feels it’s less taxing on his arm.
“It’s never sore throwing this way,” Semersky added. “When it gets sore, it’s usually from making throws overhand from the outfield.”
Leaderboard: Even though he’s only a sophomore, catcher Evan Skoug has impressed his coaches since being called up about halfway through the 2011 season, as a freshman.
“Just by being one of the top players on our team, and a returning varsity starter — the mere presence of him in our lineup — he’s got that immediate recognition and respect from his teammates,” Schurr said. “It’s not as much what he’s done on the field as what he’s done to get (that respect). He’s got an unbelievable work ethic, and works as hard — if not harder — than virtually any guy on our team. He’s earned the respect and admiration of his teammates for that.”
On the schedule: The Wildcats were slated to play a key home-and-home series against Stevenson on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Libertyville also will play an NSC crossover game at Wauconda, at 4:30 p.m. Friday, and will host Elk Grove at 10 a.m. Saturday.
“We have to play our brand of baseball if we want to compete (for a division and conference title),” Schurr said. “Make the routine play, don’t pitch from behind, and put quality at-bats together.”