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Baseball: St. Laurence tops Lincoln-Way Central 12-7

St. Laurence's Robert Gutierrez (20) bagainst Lincoln-Way Central Burbank Monday March 31 2014. | Jim Boyce/For Sun-Times Media

St. Laurence's Robert Gutierrez (20) at bat against Lincoln-Way Central in Burbank Monday, March, 31, 2014. | Jim Boyce/For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: May 2, 2014 6:24AM



Good luck finding a weak spot in the St. Laurence order.

The Vikings’ Kevin White, Frank Greco and Robert Gutierrez — the Nos. 7, 8 and 9 hitters — combined to go 5-for-8 and score six runs as St. Laurence outlasted visiting Lincoln-Way Central 12-7 on a windy Monday afternoon.

“The bottom of the lineup is usually known to be weak, but our lineup has great hitting all the way through,” White said. “I think what we do with coach Pete (Lotus) in batting practice helps get our minds right for the game. It’s all mental.”

White found his inner peace, going 3-for-4 with three runs for St. Laurence (6-0). His RBI double in the in the sixth inning put the Vikings up 10-4. He was driven home on a pinch-hit home run by Mike Finger one batter later.

“Kevin White was tremendous,” Lotus said. “I thought all three of those guys (at the bottom) did a great job.

“This is by far the deepest that we’ve been offensively. I think we can score in so many different ways. If we don’t get 13 hits like we did (Monday), we can steal bases and do other things to score.”

Alex Hitney got the win on the mound, striking out six over 31/3 innings. Hitney surrendered four runs as St. Laurence opened play in Illinois after a championship showing at the Chris Moon Memorial Classic in Tucson, Ariz.

Kevin Mampe took the loss for Central (1-1), allowing seven hits and seven runs in 22/3 innings. Mampe (2-for-2, 2 runs, 2 walks) helped his cause by reaching base in all four of his plate appearances, but St. Laurence had too much firepower.

“They hit the ball hard all day,” Central coach Scott Gardner said with a nod toward the Vikings. “We were a little inconsistent at times in the strike zone, and they were able to sit on our fast ball early in the game. It’s tough to keep them off balance when we’re struggling with some of our pitches.”

Gardner was pleased with the way Central battled back in the seventh inning, cutting the gap to 12-7 after RBI from Cam Post (1-for-2), Shane Stover (1-for-4) and Tony Kestel (1-for-2).

St. Laurence leadoff hitter Brad Wood, a Northern Illinois recruit, went 2-for-3 and twice was hit by pitches.



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