Baseball: Lemont has (Charlie) Wright touch vs. Lincoln-Way West
By Dick Goss email@example.com May 23, 2013 9:44PM
Lincoln-Way West's Luke Morgan waits for the ball as Lemont's Marc Tokarski steals second. | John Patsch~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 23, 2013 10:01PM
As regularly happens in regional semifinals, a coach must decide between starting his ace or relying on his No. 2.
But when No. 2 is Charlie Wright, maybe there is not much of a gamble at all.
The junior left-hander pitched shutout ball into the sixth inning Thursday and Lemont’s offense erupted for four runs in each of the fifth and sixth innings en route to a 9-1 victory over Lincoln-Way West in a Class 3A Lemont Regional semifinal.
“Charlie had given up one earned run in his last 13 innings and shut down Oak Park-River Forest in the Stevie’s Way tournament,” said Lemont coach Brian Storako, who has lefty Jake Latz ready for No. 1 seed Joliet Catholic in the regional final at 11 a.m. Saturday. “We have complete confidence in him.”
Mike Papierski supplied early support for Wright (3-0) with an RBI single in the first inning, and No. 2 Lemont (23-6) maintained the 1-0 lead until the bottom of the fifth.
“It was scary, kind of nerve-racking, when it was tight,” Wright said. “We’ve been doing that, getting one run in the first and then closing it down late.”
West (21-12), the No. 3 seed, had mild threats in the third and fourth innings and a bigger opportunity in the fifth.
With runners on the corners and two outs, second baseman Mike Wisz made a diving stop of Jake Robbins’ grounder in the hole and threw from his knees. First baseman Jake Terrazas stretched out his long frame and caught the ball while keeping his toe on the bag to preserve the 1-0 lead.
“It was a big play to seize the momentum,” said Terrazas, who had three of Lemont’s 12 hits and drove in three runs.
He said while knocking in runs is always nice, “we were hitting pretty much all day, up and down the lineup. The defensive play really got it on our side.”
“We played well all the way around and beat a pitcher in (West sophomore Steve) Skolarz who has a promising future,” Storako said. “We’ve been preaching about getting the big hit, and we finally started doing it of late.”
“Now, anyone up and down our lineup can get the big hit,” Terrazas said.
Billy Hayes had two hits and two RBI, Matt Kaminski two hits, Alex Broskovetz doubled in two and Jake Latz contributed an RBI double.
The big hit was missing for West, which got two hits and an RBI from Connor Hogan and two hits from Luke Morgan.
“We had opportunities,” West coach Jake Zajc said. “Getting the big hit is something we struggled with all year.
“They outhit us and drove the ball. Then we lost a ball in the sun, they got a bad-hop (two-run) single, and it all went bad.”
Lemont fell to Joliet Catholic 3-2 in March, something, Terrazas said, the Indians have not forgotten.
“They are exactly who we wanted to be playing,” he said.