Baseball: Plainfield South, Lockport win quarterfinals at WJOL tourney
By Tim Tierney For Sun-Times Media March 28, 2013 9:16PM
Lockport's Ted Snidanko rounds the bases after hitting a two-run home run vs. Joliet Central. | Larry Kane~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 1, 2013 2:44PM
After he missed the 2012 season because of an ACL injury, Plainfield South’s Victor Garcia probably would have cleared snow from the baseball field at Joliet Junior College if that’s what it took to play his first game this year.
“I worked my tail off in the offseason,’’ Garcia said. “I was just waiting for this day to come, and I made the best of it.’’
With the sun shining and the temperature higher than it recently has been, Garcia went 3-for-4 with two doubles and three RBI Thursday in Plainfield South’s 9-0 quarterfinal victory over Joliet West in the WJOL Area Baseball Invite.
Lockport was a 9-0 winner over Joliet Central in the other quarterfinal played at Wayne King Jr. Field. The two winners will meet Saturday in the semifinals.
Plainfield South got to Joliet West ace Jake Herron for two runs in the second inning and three more in the fourth, including two-out, two-run singles by Jermaine Terry and Tyler Butler (3 RBI). Herron was lifted after four innings.
“I was certainly happy the way we swung the bats against one of the better pitchers in the area,’’ Plainfield South coach Phil Bodine said.
“Everybody jumped on it,’’ Garcia said. “It wasn’t just me. Everybody participated. Our pitchers threw well.’’
Enrique Perez (starter) and Ryan McQueen shared the first six innings and Shane Ritter pitched the seventh. McQueen stopped West’s best threat when he fanned the first two batters he faced with runners at second and third and one out in the fourth.
“Perez was thrown in there last minute because our starter was late to (Thursday morning’s) workout,’’ Bodine said. “I was pretty satisfied with the way they all threw. They threw strikes, threw their off-speed for strikes.’’
Purdue-bound Ted Snidanko belted a two-run home run in the first and Derek Bangert had a two-run single in the six-run fourth to lead Lockport (3-1) in the second game.
The fourth inning included Jeff Pattison’s extra-base hit that turned into a three-run, inside-the-park homer when the ball got away at third base.
Lockport starter Conner Ryan threw four innings and Russ Hoh, Lorenzo Blazekovich and Noah Masa each pitched an inning.
“We’re very pleased with the pitchers,’’ Lockport coach Andy Satunas said. “Conner Ryan is a returning pitcher, and that’s what we expect out of a senior. He got out of a couple jams early. It was nice to be able to run some guys out there.’’
Despite the outcome, Joliet Central coach Tony Juarez was glad to finally be playing a baseball game.
“That’s kind of what we were telling the kids,’’ Juarez said. “We already lost seven games to weather, so for us to be able to get out here for the first time was good. We did some things I liked and we did some things we’ve got to work on.’’
Juarez liked what he saw from Drake DeBenedetti (2-for-3) and pitcher Zach Goetschel in the opener.
“He kept us in the ballgame ... the fourth inning he just hit the wall,’’ Juarez said. “That’s a quality team (Lockport). They’re going to swing the bats against a lot of teams.’’