No hit? No problem, Westmont still advances to 2A state semifinal

By Drake Skleba
Senior Writer

LISLE - How does one get no-hit and still win the Class 2A Benedictine University Supersectional? For Westmont, it was accomplished thanks to Sentinel right-hander Zach Moran (7-1), who fired a two-hit shutout at Ottawa Marquette to lead the Sentinels to a 2-0 victory. With the win, the Sentinels punched their ticket to the Class 2A Final Four at O’Brien Field in Peoria on Friday.

Tough-luck loser Marquette sophomore Evan Snyder (4-1) did not allow a Westmont baserunner to reach base safely in his six no-hit innings of work on Monday. Snyder struck out 12 and walked six to suffer his first defeat of the season.

The crowd at Benedictine was treated to a double no-no through the first four innings. In the top of the fifth, Crusader senior Nolan Durdan broke up Moran’s no-hit bid with a two-out single. In the bottom of the fifth, Westmont's No. 9 hitter Michael Geduldig walked. Freshman Joe Donovan laid down a sac-bunt that was fielded by the Marquette third baseman, who fired the ball down the first base line. Geduldig, running on the pith, streaked around the bases to score the first run of the game. After a passed ball moved Donovan to third, Moran walked. Michigan recruit junior shortstop Charlie Donovan drove home the second run of the game on a fielder’s choice.

“It’s unbelievable to be only the second team in school history to be going to state,” said Charlie Donovan. “We fought through a mid-season slump and really turned it on in the second half of the season to win the I-8 North again and tonight. Zach was unbelievable tonight.”

Moran had a 1-2-3 sixth and gave up a two-out single to Marquette’s Jelani Raikes. The final Crusader hope hit a towering fly ball to Sentinel centerfielder Greg Pietrzak and when it came down into his glove, the Sentinels cemented a trip to Peoria.

“I really prepared for this game by taking care of my arm all day,” said Moran. “I pitched as well as I prepared today. We have to go to Peoria and play well and I believe we will win state.”  

Westmont (28-7-1) will meet the Tigers of Byron (35-3) at approximately 5 p.m. on Friday in the Class 2A Semifinal 2. Byron slipped past Sherrard 3-2 in 10 thrilling innings Monday to win the Augustana College Supersectional.

“We executed the bunt, which made them have to make a play and they committed the error,” said Westmont head coach DJ Cocks. “Zach was magnificent and has been our ace all year. I would go into battle with him anywhere.” 

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