Baseball: Lemont’s Garrett Acton a hard act for Manteno to follow
By Steve Millar For Sun-Times Media June 7, 2014 7:08PM
Updated: July 9, 2014 6:36AM
Lemont made making history look easy.
The Indians have a proud baseball tradition, but had never won a sectional title.
That changed Saturday as Garrett Acton tossed six shutout innings, Mike Papierski homered and Lemont rolled to a 6-0 win over Manteno in the Class 3A Lincoln-Way West Sectional championship game in New Lenox.
“It’s incredible,” Papierski said. “I’ve been on varsity all four years and this team has gotten so close. To be the first Lemont team to win a sectional, it’s a great feeling.”
The Indians (32-5) will meet De La Salle in Monday’s supersectional at Standard Bank Stadium in Crestwood.
Acton’s dominance assured Lemont will have ace Jake Latz rested and ready for that game. Latz and Papierski, both LSU signees, found out afterward they both had been drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays — Latz in the 11th round and Papierski the 16th.
Acton allowed Manteno (23-14-2) just two hits in six innings, striking out eight and walking one.
“There was some pressure with it being the sectional championship game, but I knew I had some great guys behind me,” Acton, a sophomore, said. “Once I got through the first couple innings, I settled in.”
The Indians began to give him some run support in the third, pushing across three runs. Austin Tittle (2-for-3) doubled and scored on a single from Ryan Folliard (2-for-4) before Papierski crushed a 3-2 pitch from starter Jack Morgan over the left-field wall for a two-run shot.
“I fouled the (first) 3-2 pitch off and he came back at me with the same pitch (a high fastball),” Papierski said. “I got it. I knew it was gone off the bat.”
Eric Tucker singled in a run, and another Tittle double drove in the fifth run for Lemont in the fourth. Mike Wisz’s RBI single accounted for the final run in the fifth.
Nate Broskovetz pitched the seventh to finish off the history-making win.
“These kids worked really hard for this,” Lemont coach Brian Storako said. “We’re not finished. We certainly want to keep this going.”
Jack Liss had a single and Brandon Crockett a triple for Manteno.
“It was a great season for us,” Manteno coach Matt Beckner said. “We got our first regional title in 3A and beat a great Morgan Park team to get a win at sectionals. It was good for our program.”