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Baseball: Lockport scores seven in seventh to upend Sandburg

Lockport's Doug Matthews is congratulated after seventh-inning grslam against Sandburg. | Jean Lachat~For Sun-Times Media

Lockport's Doug Matthews is congratulated after a seventh-inning grand slam against Sandburg. | Jean Lachat~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: May 24, 2013 6:29AM



Trailing Sandburg 4-3 with one out Monday in the top of the seventh inning, Lockport appeared headed for defeat.

And when pinch-hitter Ron Sessler hit what looked like a routine grounder to first base, the Porters looked to be one step closer to falling to the Eagles.

However, that “routine” grounder took an unexpected crazy hop, allowing Sessler to reach base and provided the No. 4 Porters with additional hope.

Lockport turned that hope into seven runs, highlighted by Doug Matthews’ grand slam and Jeff Milas’ solo homer, for a stunning 10-8 win over the host Eagles in a SouthWest Suburban Blue thriller.

“We told the guys to trust their teammates and find a way to extend the inning,” Lockport coach Andy Satunas said of the Porters seventh-inning rally. “The two biggest balls in play in that inning was the one with the bad hop and Derek (Bangert) hitting his ball as many feet as he did.”

Bangert (3 RBI) hit two solo homers earlier that traveled close to a combined 800 feet.

It was Bangert’s grounder to third base with the bases loaded in the seventh that allowed the speedy Dan Sullivan to cross the plate for a 5-4 lead. Matthews (5 RBI) then followed with his four-bagger and Milas launched his solo shot one batter later to make it 10-4.

“Good things happen when you put the ball in play,” said Bangert, who has five homers on the season. “I was just focusing on getting the bat on the ball with two strikes on me.”

As it turned out, the Porters (10-5, 2-2) needed most of those runs to register the win.

Austin Cangelosi and Alec Nelson slammed two-run homers in the bottom of the seventh to draw the No. 6 Eagles to within 10-8. Nelson’s blast sent starter Evan Marten to the showers and forced the Porters to call upon reliever Connor Ryan, who recorded the final out to end the game.

“Baseball is a funny game,” Sandburg coach Jim Morsovillo said. “They get a funny hop and take advantage of the opportunity. We have to finish games up.”

It was the second straight game the Eagles (10-4, 2-3) squandered a seventh-inning lead. On Saturday, they blew a 4-2 lead and lost 5-4 to Lincoln-Way Central.

The Eagles wasted a super performance by starter Sean Leland, who allowed three runs on four hits and struck out three through six innings.

Matthias Dietz came on in the seventh and took the loss for Sandburg.

Alec Martinez (1-for-3), Justin Joy (2-for-4), Chris Stearns and Dave Cronin (2-for-4) drove in runs for the Eagles.



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