Baseball: Fellows, Joliet Catholic shut down St. Rita
By Pat Disabato firstname.lastname@example.org May 23, 2014 9:38PM
Drake Fellows, of Joliet Catholic, delivers a pitch against St. Rita for the 3rd Annual Steven M. Bajenski Memorial Baseball Tourament, Friday, May 23rd, 2014 in Crestwood. | Gary Middendorf/for Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 24, 2014 3:33PM
Drake Fellows felt really good in the bullpen warming up prior to Friday’s game against St. Rita.
That feeling followed him to the game.
Fellows was dominant, firing a two-hit shutout and striking out 10, as Joliet Catholic upended St. Rita 2-0 in the semifinals of the Steven Bajenski Memorial Tournament at Standard Bank Stadium.
The Hilltoppers (28-6) advance to Saturday’s championship game at 7 p.m. against Andrean.
St. Rita (30-4) will play in the third-place game vs. Providence at 4 p.m.
Fellows, a sophomore already committed to Vanderbilt, improved to 7-1 on the season.
“My fastball was good and my curveball was too in the bullpen,” Fellows said. “I was able to get ahead in the count.”
The only hitter to figure out the 6-foot-5 right-hander was Jake Shepski, who recorded both of the Mustangs hits. However, he was stranded at first base after a two-out single in the first and was thrown out at third trying to stretch a fourth-inning double into a triple.
Shepski was impressed with Fellows.
“He was getting all of his pitches over the plate,” said Shepski, a Notre Dame recruit. “He’s got a real good slider. He throws hard. He’s the best pitcher we’ve faced this year.”
JCA wasted no time jumping on St. Rita starter Mike Costanzo (8-2), loading the bases with one out in the top of the first.
Costanzo sandwiched free passes to Nick Dalesandro and Aaron Markley around a single by Mitch Boe. Costanzo then hit Keegan Tyrrell with a pitch to force in a run for a 1-0 lead. Costanzo retired the next two hitters to end the threat.
JCA increased its lead to 2-0 in the second inning. Mike Quiram notched a lead-off double and scored on a sacrifice fly by Rylan Bannon.
That’s all the cushion Fellows would need.
“It let me settle in a little bit,” Fellows said of the early lead. “I appreciate getting the early support.”
Fellows retired the final 10 batters he faced, mixing an upper-80s fastball and sweeping off-speed stuff. He also received help from his batterymate, Dalesandro. The junior catcher and Purdue recruit threw out pinch-runner Matt Murawski at third base from his knees.
“That’s what future big leaguers look like when they’re young,” St. Rita coach Mike Zunica said of Fellows. “He has a great idea of what he’s doing out there. He’s super mature for his age.”
Costanzo went the distance, allowing five hits and three walks. He struck out two.
Andrean 10, Providence 0: Danny Gomez tossed a perfect game and Alex Vode drove in three runs as the Fighting 59ers disposed of the Celtics in five innings at the Steven Bajenski Memorial Tournament. Andrean advances to Saturday’s championship against Joliet Catholic at 7 p.m. David Cox added two RBI for Andrean.