Prep Baseball Report

3A Third-Place Game: Nazareth Academy's four-run first all they need to beat Triad

Tino Abarca
Staff Writer

JOLIET, Ill. – For the second consecutive day, rain delayed the start time of the day's opening game at Route 66 Stadium for the 3A/4A state finals. The IHSA limited the consolation games to either a five-inning or two-hour limit, in order for the championship games to be played in their entirety. As a result, the Nazareth Academy Roadrunners and Triad Knights played a five-inning contest. All the Roadrunners would post – and need – was a four-run first inning to down the Knights. 

Dominic Milano (Triton JC commit) and Zach Carmignani led off the home half of the first with walks. Andrew McKenna (Holy Cross commit) advanced the two with a bunt, setting up clean-up man Bob Grimes (Triton JC commit). Grimes roped a double just passed the out-stretched glove of the Triad third baseman. Milano and Carmignani scored, putting Nazareth up 2-0, but that wasn’t the end of the Roadrunners rally. Grimes stole third and Joe Trelenberg walked and stole second to put two runners in scoring position once again. Cole Vercelli then deposited a double of his own into right field plating Grimes and Trelenberg.

Triad threatened in their final chances, putting two runners in scoring position with no one out. Opposing pitcher, Chance Roach (Carthage College commit), picked off the runner at third before inducing two grounders to the left side of the infield to escape the jam and take home the third-place trophy.

Four Nazareth senior pitchers combined to blank the opposition in a five-inning, three-hit shutout. Starter Julian Lopez (Loras commit) threw two innings, striking out two Knights.

Grimes went 1-for-2 (2B, RBI, R) out of the four-hole for the Roadrunners. Vercelli finished 1-for-1 (2B), plating two.

The Knights and head coach Jesse Bugger have now placed fourth, twice at the IHSA State Finals – the first time coming in 2012.

Nazareth Academy head coach Lee Milano places for the fourth time since 2011 – this is his second time placing third.