Prep Baseball Report

Nazareth Moves Past Kenwood: Advances to the Regional Final

By Drew Locascio
Illinois Scouting Director

Nazareth 9, Kenwood 3

LAGRANGE PARK, IL – In the 4A Nazareth Regional Semifinals, No. 5 seed Nazareth took down Kenwood by a score of 9-3.

Nazareth (22-13) jumped on top of Kenwood with two runs in the third and two in the fourth. Shane Gipson delivered a two out, two run single to open up the scoring in the third for the Roadrunners. In the fourth Nazareth was helped by an error on the shortstop allowing the first run to score and then Cesar De La Cerda laid down a sacrifice bunt which scored Chris Campagna from third base.

Nazareth right-handed pitcher, Derek Salata, a sophomore, had a perfect game going heading to the fifth and seemed to be in total control. That is when Kenwood made their move. With two runners aboard due to a lead-off walk and an error, designated hitter Gerald Powell, an Illinois-Springfield commit, came to the plate. Powell lined a triple to deep right-center field plating the two runners. The following hitter, Angelo Mayo grounded a ball through the left side of the infield scoring Powell from third base and cutting the lead to 4-3. That was it however for the Kenwood offense as they could only muster one hit off of Salata the rest of the way.

6-foot-2, 205-pound Salata was masterful in a complete game, seven inning performance. He showed poise throughout, never showing any sign of being rattled, even when Kenwood got the tying run in scoring position with nobody out in the top of the sixth. Salata proceeded to strike out the next three hitters, two of them looking on knee-buckling breaking balls. Salata sat 83-84 throughout most of the start and routinely dropped in a 11/5 breaking ball at 63-66 mph. His final line was seven innings, three hits, three runs, two earned, 11 strikeouts, one walk and one hit batter.

The Roadrunners broke the game open with a five run bottom of the sixth to put the game out of reach. First baseman Kyle Kane, a Lewis University recruit, delivered the final blow, a bases clearing double off the right-center field fence.

Nazareth advances to face St. Rita on Saturday, May 28. The game is scheduled to be played at Nazareth at 11:00 am.

+ RHP Derek Salata (Nazareth) – 7IP, 3H, 3R, 2ER, 11K, BB, HBP
+ 1B Kyle Kane (Nazareth) – 2-for-3, 2B, 3RBI, 2R
+ C Shane Gipson (Nazareth) – 2-for-4, 2B, 2RBI
+ DH Gerald Powell (Kenwood) – 1-for-3, 3B, 2RBI, R