Prep Baseball Report

Central Holds Off East in All Lincoln-Way Regional Final

By Steve Nielsen
Scouting Supervisor - Illinois/Wisconsin

Lincoln-Way East 4
Lincoln-Way Central 5

FRANKFORT, IL - Now this is exactly what Regional Championships should look like, crosstown rivals fighting to keep their seasons’ alive with a little hardware on the line. The intensity was there from the first pitch of the ball game and did not let up as Lincoln-Way Central held off Lincoln-Way East 5-4, taking home the Regional Title.

Both teams sent their respective aces to the mound in LHP Danny Zimmerman (Lincoln-Way East) and RHP Andrew Hancock (Lincoln-Way Central). Zimmerman may have outlasted Hancock, but the Knights chipped away at Zimmerman early and often with execution and clutch two-out hitting.

Central scored runs in their first three innings, Tyler Schuerg got the Knights on the board with a two-out RBI single in the first. Then in the second a sacrifice bunt moved Jake Blount’s lead off single into scoring position and Aaron Anderson delivered with two outs again for another Knight RBI single. It was Tyler Schuerg’s turn again in the third after Brandon Bennit coaxed a lead-off walk and moved around on an errant pick-off attempt. Schuerg’s groundout to third scored Bennit and gave Central a 3-0 lead after three.

East got one back in the fourth, Jimmy Quinn led off with a single and Jake Pomykalski walked setting the table for a big inning. Julian Everett fought off a tough at-bat with a single to left scoring the first East run of the game, also chasing Central starter Andrew Hancock.

With no out and two on, LHP Nate Davis extinguished the rally, limiting the Griffins to just the lone run and the bases loaded.

East got their chance again in the sixth on Davis, this time touching the crafty lefty up for two runs and a tie ballgame. Davis created his own jam after his throwing error on a swinging bunt which would have ended the inning gave Sean Robinson a chance with runners at second and third. Robinson lined a hanging curveball to the opposite field, driving in two and tying the game at 3-3.

The Knights came right back in the bottom of the sixth and got RBI doubles from Jake Blount and Sean Harris, giving Central a two run advantage headed to the seventh.

A walk, a single and another walk quickly loaded the bases against hard throwing RHP Ryan Vice, forcing Coach Nowicki to go to the pen. Brandon Bennit came on in a serious jam but got a huge strikeout of Julian Everett, who just missed a double to right field a pitch earlier. Then induced an RBI groundout and a lazy fly ball to right to finish the game and rush the field to collect their regional hardware.

The win moves Central into the Sectionals and another date with a local foe, this time Lincoln-Way West on Wednesday May 31 at Homewood-Flossmoor.

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