Baseball: St. Rita, St. Laurence set up regional final showdown
By Pat Disabato firstname.lastname@example.org July 17, 2013 4:02PM
Mike Miller strikes early in the first inning for St. Laurence with a three run homer against De La Salle for the Reavis Regional Summer State Tournament at Reavis High School, Wednesday, July 17tth, 2013, in Chicago. | Gary Middendorf~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: August 19, 2013 3:49PM
Familiar foes will be competing Thursday for the right to advance to the finals of the Phil Lawler Summer Classic.
St. Laurence and St. Rita, old rivals in the Catholic League Blue, took care of business Wednesday in the Reavis Regional semifinals. St. Laurence, behind the right arm of Brad Wood and red-hot bat of Mike Kornacker, disposed of De La Salle 11-1. St. Rita followed suit against Richards, with Shane Peisker driving in three runs and sophomore pitcher Justin Vivar firing a two-hitter in a 6-0 victory.
“St. Rita vs. St. Laurence is always a battle, always exciting,” St. Rita coach Mike Zunica said. “I’m sure both teams are looking forward to it.”
The Vikings (13-5) and Mustangs (10-4) will square off at 10 a.m. for the regional crown. Kornacker is scheduled to pitch for St. Laurence, with Mike Costanzo going for St. Rita.
Peisker (2-for-3, 3 RBI) deposited the first pitch of the game from Richards’ Ryan Thompson over the right-field fence for a home run. Peisker added another RBI on sacrifice fly in the third inning for a 2-0 lead.
The Mustangs tacked on three more runs in the fourth, highlighted by an RBI single by Chris Delgadillo (3-for-3) and sacrifice fly by Tony Faron, for a 5-0 spread.
Peisker made it 6-0 when he singled home Marty Bechina in the sixth.
“I’ve been struggling,” said Peisker, a Highland, Ind., resident. “Everyone else has been great. I was just looking fastball all day.”
Vivar was making his varsity debut for St. Rita. The much-heralded southpaw had a no-hitter into the sixth before Eric Mallo bunted for a base hit. The only other hit for the Bulldogs (16-6) was a one-out triple by Shawn Chiaramonte in the seventh. Vivar struck six, mixing his fastball and off-speed pitches.
“I’m just trying to earn a spot on the team,” said Vivar, a resident of Jefferson Park. “I wasn’t nervous at all.”
Kornacker, the SouthtownStar 2013 Baseball Player of the Year, is some type of hot streak. The senior clubbed two homers and drove in three runs to guide St. Laurence to the six-inning win over De La Salle (10-5).
The Purdue recruit hit two homers Tuesday during a 13-3 win over Homewood-Flossmoor. He’s a combined 7-for-8 with eight RBI over the two games.
“Not like this,” Kornacker said when asked if he’s ever been on a hotter streak. “I’m getting good pitches to hit and getting ahead in counts. I’m getting good swings on the ball.”
Mike Miller got things going for St. Laurence with a three-run homer in the first inning off Trevino Rodriguez. Robert Gutierrez (2-for-3) added an RBI single to stake the Vikings to a 4-0 lead after one inning.
That was more than enough cushion for Wood, who allowed three hits and struck out seven. Wood also added two hits.
“Miller had a huge hit (homer),” St. Laurence coach Pete Lotus said. “Being up three quick like that with Brad on the mound you’re feeling really good.”
Kornacker finished 3-for-3 with three RBI. Nate Tholl drove in two runs and Kevin White (2-for-2, 2 walks) drove in one for the Vikings, who pounded out 11 hits.
The Meteors’ only offense came on a sacrifice fly by Tom Duddleston in the third. Jalen Davis, James Baran and Rodriguez were the only Meteors to record hits.