Baseball: Lockport has its work cut out
By Pat Disabato email@example.com May 22, 2012 7:22PM
Updated: July 2, 2012 9:31AM
The baseball gods didn’t do Lockport any favors this postseason. The sixth-seeded Porters open the Class 4A playoffs at 7 p.m. Wednesday against No. 11 seed Stagg in the Class 4A Lincoln-Way North Regional. A win likely will mean a regional championship date Saturday against No. 2 seed Lincoln-Way North.
“We could have done ourselves a favor by winning more close games,” Lockport coach Andy Satunas said. “Stagg is a tough draw for a first game.”
The Porters defeated the Chargers 3-0 earlier in the season. They’ve yet to play North.
Lockport achieved the first of what it hopes is multiple goals by winning the SouthWest Suburban Blue.
“It’s always on our goal list to win conference,” Satunas said. “It’s a great accomplishment.”
The Porters have ridden the red-hot bat of senior Austin Mastella the past four weeks. The Lewis University recruit is hitting close to .600 over his past 18 games.
“He was pressing early in the season,” Satunas said. “He finally relaxed and started swinging at better pitches. It’s a testament to his work ethic how he turned it around.”
The Porters have received big contributions from their junior class. Catcher Derek Bangert, first baseman Dan Sullivan and pitcher Evan Martens have had super seasons.
It’s senior Nick Davito who’ll get the ball against Stagg.
“We’ve got to keep the freebies (walks) off the bases,” Satunas said. “That’s any team’s downfall in the playoffs.”
Two years ago, 12 seeded Eisenhower stunned No. 4 Homewood-Flossmoor in a 4-2 win in a regional final.
The No. 16 Cardinals will try to duplicate that magic Wednesday against No. 1 seed Providence in the Class 4A Providence Regional.
“We need to do the basics,” Eisenhower coach Ken McNulty said. “Hopefully, we can catch the ball and give ourselves a chance.”
The Cardinals have had a few bright spots this season, none brighter than senior catcher Kevin Reiher, who’s hitting .408 and has thrown out nearly 50 percent of would-be base-stealers.
“Kevin’s been awesome,” McNulty said. “He’s the first kid in the weight room and he’s at practice and games 45 minutes early.”
Brothers Darrick Longoria, a senior, and Justin Longoria, a freshman, and sophomore Christian Diaz de Sandy also have performed well for the Cardinals.