Hampshire’s Jack Schane sees himself in the Chicago Cubs’ Kyle Hendricks. With one tweak. ‘A lefty Kyle Hendricks.’

Interestingly enough, when Hampshire’s Jack Schane compares himself to a major league pitcher, the junior left-hander’s choice ends up being a certain right-hander.

Even though their stuff isn’t exactly the same, the approach on the mound is similar.

“It’s like Kyle Hendricks,” Schane said. “A lefty Kyle Hendricks.”

Without a dominant fastball, Schane concentrates on featuring location and pitch mix as the name of his game — much like Hendricks does as a pitcher for the Cubs.

Schane put that on display Monday night at Judson’s Hoffer Field in Elgin, striking out seven for the Whip-Purs in a 6-1 nonconference victory over Harvest Christian.

While Schane (3-2) earned the win, allowing an unearned run on four hits and a walk over six innings, Evan Spenk paced the offense for Hampshire (12-9) with a double and a triple.

Spenk also stole a base and scored two runs. Kyle Johnson and Casey Kaszniak each had two hits. Ben Mitchell and Jared Rodriguez had two hits apiece for Harvest (17-5).

Schane was called up to varsity halfway through last season and wound up playing a large role down the stretch. That’s why coach Frank Simoncelli has trusted him to be the team’s workhorse this season.

“That’s the one thing I love about Jack,” Simoncelli said. “I know that when Jack goes out there he’s going to compete. He’ll give up some hits every once in a while, but he’s not going to give up a lot of free passes.

“That would be very uncharacteristic of him. That’s what keeps him in ballgames.”

Schane has given up an unusually large amount of unearned runs with 12 but has only allowed three earned runs, lowing his ERA to 0.72 after Monday’s win.

He’s struck out 31 and walked nine over 29 1/3 innings.

“Going into this year, I had higher expectations,” Schane said. “I’m trying to meet them.

“I look more at location because my velocity is on the low side. I’m looking more toward off-speed and location.”

Schane has also shown adaptability this spring. After getting burned by stolen bases against Prairie Ridge, he started working on a new inside pickoff move.

The first three Harvest Christian batters Monday reached in the fourth, but Schane picked one off second base and ended the inning with two strikeouts to get out of the jam.

“The practice really helps because when you practice more it contributes to the game,” Schane said.

Hampshire scored in five of the seven innings to back up Schane.

Spenk led off the second with a triple and scored on Anthony Karbowski’s groundout. Spenk walked, stole second and scored on Kaszniak’s single in the fourth. Spenk also added a double in the sixth and made a sliding catch in center.

“He had a really nice game,” Simoncelli said. “He definitely kept us going. He gave us a little life early on. He’s a three-year varsity starter and has been hitting in the four hole for us for three years.

“I expect that kind of play and he’s proven he can continue to do it.”

Harvest couldn’t get going offensively, but the Lions got what they wanted out of the tough nonconference game.

“Not many teams in Class 1A will play the schedule that we’ve got,” Harvest coach Matt Ellett said. “The idea is that we’ll be battle tested.

“(Hampshire) is going to expose every weakness that you have. It gives us a blueprint on what we have to work on between now and the postseason.”

Schane grew up with several Harvest Christian players, so that made Monday all the more special.

“It was really cool to go against them at the high school level,” Schane said.

Paul Johnson is a freelance reporter for The Beacon-News.


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