Baseball: Margolin makes himself at home on Glenbrook North mound
BUFFALO GROVE Tuesday May 8 2012 Glenbrook North's pitcher Brad Margolin (21) | Michelle LaVigne~Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 3, 2012 10:24AM
Handed the ball in Glenbrook North’s first game of the postseason, junior Brad Margolin walked out to the mound and retired Buffalo Grove’s first three hitters in order.
In the bottom of the first inning, the Glenbrook North offense provided Margolin with a pitcher’s biggest asset: run support. The Spartans’ 1-0 lead let Margolin relax and pitch with a margin for error, which allowed the junior to pitch aggressively and show off a full repertoire of off-speed pitches.
Margolin threw a complete game for the Spartans in a 10-1 victory over the Bison, showing the improvement coach Dom Savino has seen him make this season, specifically in the last month.
“He’s done an outstanding job with command all season long,” Savino said. “His strikeout-to-walk ratio is incredible, but I feel like the last two outings he’s definitely made significant improvements in his ability to change speeds. He’s a pitcher who had four pitches working for us, so that’s why he was successful (against Buffalo Grove).”
The effectiveness of Margolin’s off-speed pitches was a vital asset for Glenbrook North this season. Margolin throws a fastball, slider, curveball and change-up. He throws all three of his off-speed pitches roughly the same amount, and for strikes, which was a big reason why he improved to 7-2 after defeating Buffalo Grove.
“The biggest difference has definitely been working on changing speeds,” said Margolin, the team’s starting left fielder when he’s not pitching. “Last year, you could get a lot of guys just by velocity and spotting a couple pitches. But once you get to the varsity level, you can’t just throw a fastball by all of the guys, so it’s really important to get your change-up or curveball or whatever your breaking pitch is at a different velocity so you can keep their eyes different and keep them guessing. That’s a big thing we’ve worked on this season.”
Entering this season, Glenbrook North had only one returnee — Bradley recruit Peter Resnick — with significant varsity experience on the mound. The Spartans had to replace 36 of the 37 starts made last season.
Margolin knew he would contribute on the mound in some capacity during the 2012 preseason, but it took a couple of starts for him earn his spot in the three-man starting rotation.
“Coming into the season, we really only had one pitcher with significant experience, so we really didn’t know exactly how things would go,” Savino said. “(Margolin) is a super-hard worker. Did we know he was going to pitch this well? We didn’t know that, but it’s not a surprise because of the type of individual he is.”
Glenbrook North, a 25-game winner which was awarded the No. 2 seed in the Glenbrook South Sectional, was unable to get the key hit at the key time on Saturday.
Stevenson sophomore Zach Novoselsky had one of the big hits in his team’s surprising 7-2 victory over visiting Glenbrook North in the Class 4A final.
“No one expected us to win. But we did,” said Novoselsky. “We believe in ourselves. And that’s all we need.”
Novoselsky, who is the son of former NFL tight end Brett Novoselsky (Bears and Vikings, 1988-94), singled home two runs in Stevenson’s four-run third inning.