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Baseball: Lemont tops Shepard in eight innings

Lemont's Charlie Wright (3) driven back first Palos Heights Thursday April 17 2014. | Jim Boyce/For Sun-Times Media

Lemont's Charlie Wright (3) driven back to first in Palos Heights Thursday, April, 17, 2014. | Jim Boyce/For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: May 19, 2014 2:22PM



Lemont’s Mike Papierski was expecting an off-speed pitch from Shepard pitcher Adam Gregory.

He guessed right.

Papierski sent a 2-and-0 changeup over the left-field fence, breaking a 1-all tie and helping Lemont to a 4-1 win Thursday over the host Astros in a South Suburban Blue tilt that required eight innings.

“I saw him (Gregory) digging into his glove,” said Papierski, an LSU recruit. “I was thinking something off-speed. I sat back and saw changeup.”

Eric Tucker added a two-run single later in the eighth to provide some insurance as the Indians (10-0, 3-0) avoided the Astros’ upset bid.

“We’ve been coming out flat,” Lemont coach Brian Storako said. “I don’t know what the deal is. But we’re finding ways to win.”

Shepard (5-6, 3-3) was four defensive outs away from handing Lemont its first loss of the season. With one out in the sixth, Matt Monaco singled. After Papierski flied out, Mike Wisz stepped to the plate.

Shepard pitcher Eric Horbach was masterful all game. But the right-hander left a curveball up in the zone and Wisz roped the ball to the gap in left-center for an RBI double that tied the game at 1.

“I let two fastballs go by that I shouldn’t have,” Wisz said. “He threw me a curveball and I was able to get a good swing at it. See the ball, hit the ball.”

Horbach allowed four hits and struck out four over six innings.

Shepard had a chance to take the lead in its half of the sixth, but wasted a one-out double by Kevin Carmody (2-for-4). The Astros could have ended the game in the seventh. Kevin Knoerzer stroked a one-out single and Brendan Hermann walked. A fielder’s choice by Bobby Peterka put runners on the corners with two outs.

Lemont reliever Sean Sublette, though, struck out Mark Albrecht to thwart the rally.

Shepard took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Knoerzer (2-for-4) doublex against Austin Tittle and scored on Albrecht’s sacrifice fly.

Tittle scattered eight hits and struck out five over 61/3 innings.

“This has pretty much been our season,” Shepard coach Frank DiFoggio said. “We’ve hung with everyone we’ve played. We’re going to give you everything we’ve got. We’re scrappers.

“That (pitch to Papierski) is on me. I called for the changeup. I thought we might be able to get him to swing through something. Instead, he hit it a mile.”



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