Updated: June 13, 2013 7:24PM
The path to the Catholic League Blue title was laid out for St. Laurence on Saturday.
Win, and the Vikings claimed the conference title outright.
Lose, and they would have to share it.
Having lost a share of the conference title last season in similar fashion, St. Laurence’s Brad Wood wanted nothing to do with déjà vu.
“Last year, we came into that game tense and hyped up,” Wood said. “This year, we were loose, and we didn’t want to press too much.”
With Wood and the Vikings lineup racking up 15 hits and Zach Lewis dominant on the mound, St. Laurence cruised to a 10-0 win at Brother Rice to claim the Catholic League Blue title outright.
“It was a whole new year with a whole new team,” Lewis said. “We’ve got a great group of guys who play together.”
Wood set the tone Saturday, hitting a double to left on the game’s first pitch and scoring on Lewis’ groundout three batters later.
St. Laurence (22-6, 14-2) tallied four more runs in the second, Ryan Rybakowski (2 RBI, run) starting things off with an RBI single. Wood added a two-run double and came home on Nate Tholl’s RBI groundout.
“After we scored, we wanted to keep going and not let them hang in there,” Wood said. “Zach is a horse, and he’ll go the whole way if he wants to. Once you get him a couple runs, you’re pretty safe.”
Wood finished 2-for-3 with three runs, two RBI and two walks.
Working with a five-run lead, Lewis was dominant in his six innings, surrendering just three hits and two walks while striking out eight.
“(The runs) helped put me in a comfort zone and pitch my game, stay ahead and attack the zone,” Lewis said. “I was a little wild so I had to stay focused and try and throw strikes.”
Lewis (2 RBI) pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth.
T.J. Marik (3-for-4, 2 runs, RBI), Mike Kornacker (RBI, run) and Roger Wilson (RBI, run) contributed for St. Laurence.
“Win or lose, we wanted to play our game,” St. Laurence coach Pete Lotus said. “Our guys did a great job of that. All year, we’ve battled and played really well, came up with big hits when we needed.”
Brian Musielak had a double for Brother Rice (17-13, 9-7).