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Baseball Summer League State Tournament: St. Rita fights on

St. Rita's C.J. Santoyo delivers against Minookduring Phil Lawler Summer Classic North Central College Naperville Ill. Monday July 22 2013.

St. Rita's C.J. Santoyo delivers against Minooka during the Phil Lawler Summer Classic at North Central College in Naperville, Ill., on Monday, July 22, 2013. | Corey R. Minkanic~For Sun-Times Media ORG XMIT: .

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Updated: August 24, 2013 6:33AM



Better late than never.

It took St. Rita’s offense 13 innings to appear, but its arrival assured the Mustangs of advancing to Tuesday’s quarterfinals of the Phil Lawler Summer Classic.

St. Rita broke a 3-all tie against Plainfield East with an eight-run seventh inning and an 11-3 win Monday at North Central College.

The Mustangs were faced with a must-win against the Bengals after dropping a 3-1 decision to Minooka in an earlier first-round game Monday.

St. Rita will play the loser of Tuesday’s 10 a.m. quarterfinal game between Lyons and Minooka at 12:30 p.m. at Benedictine University.

The Mustangs have the luxury of having their top three pitchers — left-handers Mike Costanzo and Justin Vivar and right-hander Nick Goldsmith — ready to go.

“We kept battling,” St. Rita coach Mike Zunica said. “We had to win this game. We live to fight another day.”

St. Rita scored eight runs on five hits in the pivotal seventh inning against Plainfield East (16-12).

However, it was a dropped third strike to Shane Peisker to lead off the seventh that got things started.

Nate Soria (3-for-5, 2 RBI) singled and Jake Shepski was walked intentionally to load the bases with no outs.

From there the floodgates opened. Tyler Halas’s single gave the Mustangs a 4-3 lead and Anthony Faron’s bases-clearing double tacked on three more runs for a 7-3 advantage.

Soria added an RBI single and A.J. Fuller a sacrifice fly to highlight the rest of the inning for the Mustangs (13-5).

“Getting the lead-off guy is the key,” said Faron, 2-for-4 with three RBI. “Shane got on and we hit the ground running from there. I think everybody was just trying to do too much on their own.”

Halas pitched 51/3 innings, allowing three runs on 10 hits.

The junior righty didn’t walk a batter and struck out two over 72 pitches.

The win, though, went to Shepski, who pitched 11/3 innings of relief and struck out two.

“Just thinking about pounding the strike zone and staying away from the walks,” Halas said. “I was trying to work the (strike) zone.”

Soria’s RBI double in the fifth tied the game 1-1. Plainfield East regained the lead in the sixth, but Marty Bechina and pinch-hitter Esteban Martinez came through with two-out RBI singles that gave St. Rita a 3-2 lead.

Plainfield East tied the game 3-3 in its half of the sixth, setting up the Mustangs decisive seventh inning.

“Coach (Zunica) told us to stay back and hit the ball up the middle, which we did in the seventh inning,” Halas said.

Jovany Urbieta led Plainfield East with a 3-for-3 performance, including an RBI triple. Urbieta was 5-for-5 with five RBI during Monday’s two games.

St. Rita would cherish another shot at Minooka after dropping a 3-1 decision to the Indians in its first game of the day.

The Mustangs registered two hits against Minooka starter Mitch Malone, both coming in the fifth inning and resulted in their only run of the game.

Soria’s two-out single to right field scored Bechina, who had doubled, and cut the deficit to 3-1.

C.J. Santoyo took the loss for St. Rita. The senior southpaw allowed only four hits over 5 innings, but walked seven and hit a batter.

“We came out slow this morning,” Faron admitted. “I think everyone wants to play Minooka again. We want to come out tomorrow and play our game. We want to win the rest of the way.”



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