Loyola's Rafferty shuts down No. 1 Mount Carmel

By Sean Duncan

GLENVIEW - Minutes after throwing a five-hit complete game Monday - the type of virtuoso performance that lifted Loyola to a shocking 3-1 Chicago Catholic League Blue victory over No. 1-ranked Mount Carmel - all left-hander Danny Rafferty wanted to talk about was his hitting.

“I didn’t hit well today,” said Rafferty, shaking his head.

In deference to Rafferty, he is one of the more promising left-handed hitting outfield prospects in the Class of 2013. On Monday, though, no one could care less what the junior did at the plate. The story of the game was what Rafferty did on the mound.

And what he did was mighty impressive. The 5-foot-11, 180-pound Rafferty shook off an unearned run in the first inning to blank top-ranked Mount Carmel (23-2, 9-2) – the same Mount Carmel team that hung 16 runs on No. 2 St. Laurence last week - the next six innings. Rafferty struck out four, walked one and hit two batters to improve to 4-1 on the season.

After Loyola (10-16, 6-4) took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the third inning, Rafferty seemingly got stronger and stronger, feeding the Caravan a balanced blend of fastballs (79-81 mph) and curveballs (66-68).

“That’s not the first time we’ve given up a run in the first inning,” said Rafferty, who recently scored a 30 on his ACT. “It’s just one run. I just kept battling. I’m out there to go after people. If you play timid, you’re going nowhere.”

Rafferty, a defensive back on Loyola’s powerhouse football team, worked both sides of the plate, and particularly pounded the inner-half, which resulted in several jam-shots. No Caravan put a hard barrel on Rafferty’s curveball, which he consistently threw for strikes.

The Ramblers scored twice in the third inning on senior second baseman Michael Servatius’ sacrifice fly, and senior first baseman Fred Smart’s run-scoring single. Loyola gave Rafferty some wiggle room in the fifth when Northern Kentucky-bound catcher Logan Spurlin laced a run-scoring single up the middle.

Junior centerfielder Matt Fallon, the Ramblers’ leadoff man, went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and a stolen base. Fallon also played an exemplary centerfield. Servatius also went 2-for-2 with an RBI against Mount Carmel junior left-hander Jeremy Kravetz (7 IP, 3 R, 9 H, 5 Ks, 0 BB, 1 HBP).

For the Caravan, who opened the season with 23 straight victories, they drop their second straight after losing 1-0 to St. Laurence on Saturday. Mount Carmel’s only run came on a two-out groundball error in the first inning. Junior shortstop Jerry Houston continued to swing a hot bat for the Caravan, going 2-for-4 – and was robbed of another hit.

IL Top Prospect Showcase slide 6-14-12