Senior Babe Ruth baseball: Lansing overpowers Hammond
By Mike Clark firstname.lastname@example.org July 20, 2013 10:54PM
Updated: September 19, 2013 3:24AM
Playoff beards are so yesterday.
That’s the opinion of the Lansing Redbirds, and who’s to argue.
Wearing his playoff mustache, Dom Albanese pitched and hit the Redbirds to within two wins of a return trip to the Senior Babe Ruth (16-18) World Series.
Albanese pitched a five-hitter and was 2-for-4 with an RBI Saturday as Lansing beat the Hammond Hurricanes Purple 8-1 in the Ohio Valley Regional quarterfinals at Chesterton (Ind.) High School.
The Redbirds (34-7) will play Fern Creek (Ky.), a 10-8, 10-inning winner over Crown Point 20, in a noon semifinal Sunday. The winner will face either the Fond du Lac (Wis.) Blue Bombers or the host Porter County (Ind.) Storm for the title at 3 p.m. The regional winner moves on to the Senior Babe Ruth World Series in Covington County, Ala.
Lansing is hoping to fare better at this year’s national tournament than last, which is why Albanese and teammate Brian Seymour decided to appropriate a hockey tradition — with a twist.
“Everybody goes with a (playoff) beard,” said Albanese, a Brother Rice grad who now plays at South Suburban College. “Gotta change it up, gotta do something new, something different.”
So mustaches it was.
“Once we grew our mustaches out ... our bats started rolling,” Albanese said.
That’s been the case in this tournament, with the Redbirds winning four straight games by a 53-23 combined score.
Seymour, Kyle Janowski, Alex Schell and Dom Sciackitano added two hits each for Lansing and that was more than enough offense for Albanese.
The right-hander was on cruise control, striking out five and walking one.
“He’s a great guy to have,” Lansing manager Skip Moore said.
“Definitely one of the leaders on the team. He gets us ignited no matter what he’s doing — offense, defense.”
Despite having played four games in three days, Lansing has two of its top pitchers — Alex Schell and Austin Spearson — rested and ready for Sunday.
“Everyone knows it takes a unit to win, 18 guys,” Moore said. “We’re a family. We all said no matter who’s on the field any any given time, we’re going to produce because everyone can play.”