southtownstar
DYNAMIC 
Weather Updates

Baseball: Nate Tholl’s sacrifice fly helps St. Laurence topple St. Rita

St. Laurence catcher T.J. Marik (left) puts tag St. Rita's Anthony Ray plate during their baseball game Burbank Wednesday May

St. Laurence catcher T.J. Marik (left) puts the tag on St. Rita's Anthony Ray at the plate during their baseball game in Burbank Wednesday, May 1, 2013. | Brett Roseman~Sun-Times Media

storyidforme: 48581705
tmspicid: 18051589
fileheaderid: 8123007
Article Extras
Story Image

Updated: June 3, 2013 3:27PM



St. Laurence coach Pete Lotus’s words of advice to Nate Tholl were fairly simple:

“He told me to have fun and drive the ball,” said Tholl, the Vikings No. 2 hitter.

Eight pitches later, Tholl lofted a sacrifice fly that scored Ryan Rybakowski with the game-winning run and provided St. Laurence with a 5-4 victory in eight innings over St. Rita in Burbank.

The victory improved the No. 3 Vikings to 18-5 overall and 11-1 in the Catholic League Blue. The No. 4 Mustangs fell to 22-4, 9-2.

Tholl fouled off three pitches from Mustangs pitcher Jake Shmeski with the count 2-and-2 before delivering the bases-loaded, no-outs sac fly to right field.

“I just kept battling and got a pitch to do something with,” said Tholl, a Tinley Park resident.

Tholl may have grabbed the spotlight, but the victory was truly a team effort.

Pitcher Mike Kornacker went the distance, scattering 12 hits, two walks and striking out four during a 108-pitch effort.

He was backed by outstanding plays from third baseman Zach Lewis and shortstop Brad Wood.

Catcher T.J. Marik came up big as well. Besides gunning down a would-be base-stealer, the junior slugged a two-run homer off St. Rita starter Dominic Fosko that tied things at 4 in the fifth.

“He threw me a slider and I turned on it,” said Marik, of Chicago’s Beverly community. “I didn’t think it was gone, but when I heard the crowd screaming, I was like, ‘That really happened?’ ”

St. Laurence scored single runs in the second and fourth innings to take a 2-0 advantage. Kevin White’s single scored Marik (double) for the first run of the game, and Wood (2-for-4) scored White with a two-out single in the fourth for a two-run cushion.

St. Rita responded with four runs in the fifth. Andrew Massey (2-for-4) and Marty Napleton (3-for-4) came through with two-out, two-run singles for a 4-2 lead. The Mustangs left at least one runner on base in seven of the eight innings.

“We had our chances,” St. Rita coach Mike Zunica said.

Marik (2-for-4) helped the Vikings, who racked up 11 hits, regain some momentum with his two-run jack over the left-field fence with two outs in the bottom half of the fifth.

Two days after being no-hit by St. Laurence, St. Rita hits and 14 baserunners. Anthony Ray (2-for-4) and Pete Cozzi (2-for-4) had multihit games for the Mustangs.

“You have to tip your cap to those guys,” Zunica of the Vikings. “They made the plays.”



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.