Updated: July 1, 2014 6:33AM
Call it a redemption bid for Ryan Kairis.
Looking to avenge a one-run defeat on the mound from Marian Catholic the previous week, Kairis rebounded by hurling a complete game as Marist dismissed Marian with an 8-2 victory Thursday in a Class 4A Marist Regional semifinal.
No. 8 seed Marist (21-14) will meet No. 1 seed Lincoln-Way North at 11 a.m. Saturday for the regional championship. Marian Catholic closes at 15-21.
“We were looking to attack their hitters and get first-pitch strikes,” Kairas said. “We tried to get them back on their heels.”
He carried out the plan to a T.
Kairis (6-4) consistently stayed ahead in the count in keeping Marian off balance. He gave up six hits and struck out two. Both of Marian’s runs — and half its hits — came across in the final inning when the game was out of reach.
“We picked up the ball on defense and hit timely when we had to,” Kairis said. “It felt really good to get out there and have the team put me in a good position to win.”
Marist scored three runs in the first inning, the big hit a two-run double by Barrett Callaghan. The RedHawks added four more runs in the fourth on two hits, two walks and a Marian Catholic error.
Callaghan knocked in his third run of the game with a sacrifice fly in the fourth. Pat Meehan added an RBI single, a stolen base and run in the inning.
“Our pitching all year has been phenomenal and our hitting hasn’t really been there,” Callaghan said. “It was great to give them that support because they’ve been there all year for us.”
The Spartans’ Bryce Hennessy allowed three hits, four walks and three earned runs in 31/3 innings.
Marist scored three unearned runs on three Spartans errors.
“When we don’t play the field like that, we didn’t give ourselves a chance,” Marian coach Phil Wail said. “We don’t hit very good and we don’t score many runs.”
Mark DiLuia drove in both runs for Marian with a seventh-inning double.
Marist’s Blake Bieniek and Eric Hansen each had an RBI and combined to score three runs.