Baseball: Zack Thomas, Joliet West stifle Lockport bats
By Dick Goss firstname.lastname@example.org April 25, 2013 8:44PM
Joliet West pitcher Zack Thomas. | John Patsch~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 29, 2013 7:29AM
Lockport coach Andy Satunas said he might have invented a word, and it’s not one he was fond of having to use.
“He out-competed us, and we didn’t compete, that’s the disappointing thing,” Satunas said after Joliet West left-hander Zack Thomas tossed a three-hitter in Thursday’s 3-1 SouthWest Suburban Blue victory over the visiting Porters.
“I’ve never seen a team take so many fastballs down the middle like we did. We had seniors who didn’t act like seniors in the (batter’s) box. The Thomas kid out-competed us, and I’m not even sure that’s a word. It probably would have the red underline on the computer.”
Thomas was staked to a 3-0 first-inning lead as Lockport right-hander Nick Lindemann threw 44 pitches, the three runs scoring on bases-loaded walks to Joey Pharo, Kyle Chavez and Isaac Taylor.
“We were fortunate in the first to get out of it down 3-0,” Satunas said. “That should have given us a spark, but it didn’t.”
Thomas allowed Ted Snidanko’s first-inning double, Dan Sullivan’s two-out sixth-inning double that could have been a flyout to short right-center but instead fell, and Austin Kolmodin’s seventh-inning infield single.
The only run for Lockport (11-6, 3-3), which completed a two-game sweep of conference heavyweight Sandburg a day earlier, came in the third on an error and two wild pitches sandwiched around a groundout.
“I felt good all day,” said Thomas, who struck out nine and walked none. “All three pitches (fastball, slider and changup) were working. One through nine, Lockport’s is a real good lineup. But coach Host (Joe Host, the Tigers’ pitching coach) did a great job calling pitches. He set me up for this kind of day.”
“Zack’s last outing was not so good,” West coach John Karczewski said. “I told him he should take this like it’s the conference championship game. I told him if he gets in a groove, Joe will take him home, and that’s what happened.
“Except for the wild pitch that scored their run, he was dominant.”
Satunas complained to the umpires about Thomas quick-pitching the Porters early on.
“They let him do, so that’s to his credit,” Satunas said. “The bottom line is, he threw the ball and we didn’t hit it.”
With right-handers Jake Herron and Quinn Ahern also in the West rotation, the Tigers (12-4, 4-2), who shared the conference title last year with Lockport, are primed to take their best shot at repeating. Friday’s game at Lincoln-Way East is another big one.
“Our whole conference is tough this year,” Thomas said. “But it’s not like our pitching is going to take the day off in any game.”
As uncharacteristically silent as Lockport’s offense was, the Tigers made precious little noise as well.
“It was a boring game to watch but a good one to win,” Karczewski said.
Larry Holman and Thomas, the first two hitters in the bottom of the first, both singled and West got no more hits. Lindemann, who threw 99 pitches despite the 44-pitch first inning, struck out one and there were two flyouts and a soft lineout behind him. Otherwise, it was a steady stream of groundballs.
“We have to do some better hitting (against Lincoln-Way East),” Karczewski said.