No. 12 Mundelein hangs on to defeat No. 6 Libertyville

By Sean Duncan
Executive Director

LIBERTYVILLE, IL – After jumping out to an impressive 7-1 lead after two innings, No. 12 Mundelein hung on to defeat No. 6 Libertyville,8-6, Wednesday to split the critical North Suburban Lake two-game series.

Mundelein (23-2, 6-2), which lost 3-1 on Tuesday again despite a late seventh-inning rally, came out the gates swinging on Wednesday. The Mustangs pounded out four hits and four runs in the first inning before the full crowd at Libertyville had settled in. Mundelein proceeded to put three more runs on the board in the second inning to mount a 7-1 advantage. The way both teams were playing, the game had the smell of a five-inning contest.

Not quite.

Libertyville (19-4, 7-1) scored four runs in the fifth inning to make it 8-5, and when junior shortstop Jimmy Govern launched home run to lead off the bottom of the seventh, the situation looked serious for Mundelein. Conor Simpson followed with a single, bringing to the plate catcher Evan Skoug, arguably the state’s most feared hitter. It should be noted that Skoug, in his six previous at-bats against Libertyville over the course of two games, had hit one taper-blast homer, three singles and walked twice. Oh, and he also hit a homer to centerfield earlier in the game that was waived off because the pitcher was called for a balk.

So needless to say the whole atmosphere changed when Skoug stepped to the plate. Senior reliever Tyler Kozaritz, though, induced Skoug into a 4-6-3 double play. Game over, right? Nope. Libertyville bounced back, with Mitch Townsend singling and Noah Greenberg following with a ground-rule double to right-center to put runners on second and third.

Mundelein coach Todd Parola went to the pen again, bringing in junior Carter Naughton, who induced a well-struck fly ball to centerfield to end the game.

Mundelein received solid offensive production throughout the top of its lineup. Senior first baseman Ryan Hollander led the way, going 3-for-4 with three RBI, including a run-scoring triple in the fourth to make it 8-1. Junior third baseman Luke Peterson went 2-for-4 with three RBI. His two-run double served as the big blow in the first inning. Peterson also had two doubles on Tuesday.

Starting pitcher Michael Metz went 1-for-2 with a double. In Metz’s first two plate appearances, he was hit on the first pitch in each at-bat. Other than being called for multiple balks, including one that was extremely beneficial for him, Metz had a solid outing.  He allowed six hits, five runs and stuck out five.

Metz, however, couldn’t quite figure out Govern, Libertyville’s slick-fielding junior shortstop. The 5-foot-11, 165-pound Govern finished 3-for-4 with three runs scored and came a triple shy of the cycle. Govern doubled down the third-base line in the first inning, in addition to his seventh-inning homer. Townsend finished with two hits, including a two-run single in the fifth. 

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