Baseball: Kornacker throws gem as St. Laurence dominates Providence
By Tim O’Brien For Sun-Times Media April 26, 2014 5:50PM
Mike Kornacker, of St. Laurence, pitched a three hit shutout against Providence St. Laurence, Saturday, April 26th, 2014 in Burbank. | Gary Middendorf/for Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 28, 2014 6:49AM
St. Laurence’s Mike Kornacker took the mound Saturday with quite the view.
The backstop was lined with MLB scouts, all of them sporting speed guns.
But, no, the scouts weren’t there for Kornacker. They were there for Providence’s Jake Godfrey, an LSU commit.
On this day though, it was Kornacker who got the last laugh, the 6-foot-4 senior throwing a gem in host St. Laurence’s 8-0 victory over Providence in the Catholic League Blue.
“Mike’s pitched in a lot of big games for us, and just add this one to the list,” St. Laurence coach Pete Lotus said. “Mike is such a fantastic player, and maybe there’s a chip on his shoulder (with the scouts).”
Kornacker (5-1) went the distance for St. Laurence (17-2, 6-1), scattering three hits and two walks with a dominating 11 strikeouts.
Was he aware of the speed guns for Godfrey? Yes. Did he care? No.
“We knew it’d be a close game with Jake, and I tried to stay ahead,” Kornacker said. “I stick to myself, and I try not to think about any of that behind home. Just focus on the game and throw strikes.”
Kornacker threw plenty of them Saturday, keeping the Providence lineup guessing inning after inning.
He got all the offense he needed in the fourth, aiding his own cause with a leadoff single. Two batters later, Kornacker (run, 2 stolen bases) came home on a Providence throwing error on a potential double-play ball. Kevin White added an RBI single in the fourth.
“I was trying to see as many pitches as I can,” White said. “We knew it would be a great game, just had to get amped and come out to play.”
St. Laurence scored five runs in the fifth, Roger Wilson adding an RBI single and Mike Finger adding a three-run double to blow the game open. St. Laurence stole seven bases overall.
Godfrey (2-3) went five innings for Providence (15-6, 6-1), allowing all eight runs, only five of them earned, on four hits and four walks with nine strikeouts.
“We make the mistake on the double play ball in the fourth, and if we make that play, I believe it’s still a 0-0 game,” Providence coach Mark Smith said. “That changed the momentum. We’ll shore some things up and keep working at it. This is what we’ll see over the next three weeks.”