Prep Baseball Report

3A State Semifinal: St. Laurence Rolls Past Waterloo

By: Adam Panayotovich
Area Scout

JOLIET, IL - In the first matchup of a four-game set at DuPage Medical Group Field (formerly Route 66 Stadium), the home team St. Laurence Vikings took on the Waterloo Bulldogs in a 3A state semi-final matchup. Behind a total team effort on offense, the Vikings knocked off the Bulldogs 8-2 moving onto the 3A State Championship game tomorrow.

St. Laurence scored a run(s) in every inning, while seven of their nine starters picked up at least one hit. The two Vikings who did not collect a hit totalled three walks and three runs.

In the top of the first inning Waterloo threatened when leadoff man Tyson Roedl was hit by the first pitch of the game and Dustin Crawford singled two batters later. With two outs, Crawford attempted to steal second and Vikings backtstop Matt McCormick (West Virginia commit) gunned him down raising the Vikings faithful out of their seats. After the game McCormick said on the play, “That ended their rally. I really want to show that I can catch.”

St. Laurence first baseman Vytas Valincius (South Carolina commit) started things in the first with an RBI single back up the box scoring leadoff man Luke Montgomery. Montgomery started the game with an infield single showing his wheels down the line. Valincius said “I just wanted to do my job and get the team going.”

The Vikings would score one run in the next two frames expanding their lead, which they never lost. McCormick slashed a bases loaded one-run single in the 2nd and Jason Krol sent an RBI single of his own into centerfield, 3-0 score after three.

In the middle going, St. Laurence starter Matt Zahora started two rally stopping double plays that quieted any Bulldog threat. With no outs in the 3rd, Zahora induced a high chopper back to the mound for a 6-4-3 double play and in the 4th, a slow roller for the same result ending the inning boosting the Viking momentum.

St. Laurence put up back to back two run innings in the 4th and 5th. After a Jake Vera hit-by-pitch and a perfect executed bunt by McCormick down the third base line, Valincius drove his second RBI single of the game, this one to right field scoring Vera (below). Two batters later, Matt Dornbos sent a sacrifice fly to right field plating McCormick. With the bases loaded, Waterloo second baseman Roedl made a diving play to his glove hand on a ground ball resulting in a bang bang play leaving the bases juiced in the 4th.

The two run fifth for the Vikings had small ball written all over it. The frame saw three stolen bases, a wild pitch that scored Montgomery and a sacrifice fly to center from McCormick scoring Vera.

Waterloo did all their offensive damage in the 6th inning. Marcus Heusohn leadoff with a walk and Trey Krueper sent the hardest hit of the game to left field for a double. Josh Wittenauer (Rend Lake JC) drove in the Bulldogs first run with an (below).RBI groundout and next man up Nate Albrecht sent an RBI line drive single to right. Zahora exited with one out in the fifth and RHP Brett Buzzelli came in getting the final two outs of the frame with a runner in scoring position.

Kevin McCormick drove in the final run of the game in the 6th for St. Laurence on a double to left. The hit scored Dornbos who singled hard up the middle.

Buzelli ended the game with a 1-2-3 7th, sending the Vikings to victory lane.

Zahora earned the win on five and a third innings pitched allowing three hits and two earned runs on two strikeouts and seven walks. Buzzelli went an inning and two thirds allowing a hit with one strikeout.

Drake Downing took the loss for Waterloo with a line: 3IP, 7H, 3ER, 3BB, 3K.


+ CF Luke Montgomery (St. Laurence): 3-for-4, 2R, 3SB
+ C Matt McCormick (St. Laurence): 2-for-3, R, 2RBI
+ 1B Vytas Valincius (St. Laurence): 2-for-4, 2RBI
+ DH Jason Krol (St. Laurence): 2-for-4, RBI
+ SS Matt Dornbos (St. Laurence): 1-for-2, 2R, RBI, BB

With the win, St. Laurence advances to the State Championship game on Saturday (6/8) at 11:00 a.m. at Joliet’s newly named DuPage Medical Group Field against the Montini Broncos.