Mount Carmel does it Stevie's Way, routs No. 2 St. Laurence



By Drake Skleba
Senior Writer

CRESTWOOD – “Do it Stevie’s Way” is the slogan for the second annual Steven M. Bajenski Memorial Tournament that honors the memory of the late Steven Bajenski (1992-2009). Stevie passed away on August 28, 2009 from complications due to heart surgery and the tournament honors the memory of the late Mount Carmel High School student and varsity baseball player.

On Saturday at Standard Bank Stadium, Stevie’s present-day teammates did it his way and routed No. 2 St. Laurence 11-1 in six innings. With the win, No. 4 Mount Carmel (27-7) advances to the tournament championship game against Joliet Catholic Academy (17-13), which stunned No. 5 St. Rita 1-0 in the tournament’s second semifinal contest.

University of Kansas-bound lefty Jeremy Kravetz (6-3) fired a four-hit masterpiece at St. Laurence (24-8). Kravetz changed speeds beautifully and kept the hard-hitting Vikings

Off balance all night with a filthy changeup.

“I really pitched well tonight and we really wanted to win this game and get to the championship game,” Kravetz said. “My changeup was very effective tonight and my defense was great behind me.”

The Caravan jumped out in front with three runs in the top of the first. Senior centerfielder Jason Gasser hit a booming two-run double to get Mount Carmel on the board. Junior first baseman Malik Carpenter plated the third run of the inning on a ground out. Two of the three runs charged to Viking starting pitcher Robert Gutierrez (2-3) were unearned as the Vikings committed the first two of their five errors on the night.

“This was a great win for us tonight,” said Gasser. “I hit the ball very well. I hit the ball the hardest on my only out of the night. I really thought it was going over the centerfield wall.” 

Sophomore leadoffman Ako Thomas had a huge two-out RBI single to give the Caravan a 4-0 lead in the top of the second. In the top of the fourth senior third baseman Beau Filkins hammered a two-run bomb over the left field wall to give the Caravan a 7-0 lead.

Mount Carmel scored four times in the top of the sixth to open up an 11-0 lead. University of Oregon-bound shortstop Jerry Houston and senior DH Tom Hayes had RBI singles in the sixth. Both Houston and Hayes had two-hit nights for MC. 

St. Laurence, which routed No. 1 Lincoln-Way North 14-0 on Thursday, picked up the Vikings’ lone run on an RBI single from Zach Lewis. The Wabash Valley College-bound third baseman drove in his team-leading 37th RBI and had two hits on the night.

St. Laurence will meet St. Rita (27-7) in the third-place game at 4 at Standard Bank Stadium on Saturday. The Caravan will take-on fellow Carmelite brethren Joliet Catholic Academy at 7 for the Stevie’s Cup Championship Trophy.

“Jeremy did a great job on the mound for us tonight,” said Mount Carmel head coach Brian Hurry. “It really helped us to jump out in front in the first inning like we did. We really swung the bats well up and down our line-up. We’re excited to have the opportunity to bring Stevie’s Cup home to Mount Carmel.”

You can watch the six-game Bajenski Tournament extravaganza beginning at 10 on Saturday at www.prepbaseballreport.highschoolcube.com

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