No. 13 St. Rita Rallies Late To Defeat No. 20 De La Salle


By Drew Locascio
Illinois Scouting Director

On Monday afternoon, two undefeated teams, No. 13 St. Rita and No. 20 De La Salle faced off. The Mustangs of St. Rita rallied late, handing De La Salle their first loss of the season by a score of 4-3.

Leading 3-2, entering the bottom of the fifth inning, De La Salle (4-1) pulled their starter, Ben Hernandez (UIC commit), one of the top junior arms in the state, due to an elevated pitch count. St. Rita (8-0) wasted little time taking advantage of the new arm, scoring two runs and a 4-3 lead into the sixth inning. Bobby Atkinson started things off in the bottom of the fifth with a one-out walk and moved to second on a groundout to second base. That’s when junior Luke Napleton delivered a game-tying, two-out, RBI single back up the middle. After a stolen base, pinch-hitter, Chris McDevitt, followed, with what turned out to be the game-winning RBI single, through the left side of the infield.

Mustang starter, Diego Koval (Loras commit), gave up three runs in the first inning but settled in and was lights out after that. Koval, went the distance, finishing off the seven-inning complete game victory. After the first inning, Koval allowed only two hits, no runs and struck out five. De La Salle made things interesting in the top of the seventh inning getting two men on with two outs but Koval induced a weak comebacker to end it.

The Meteors of De La Salle spotted Hernandez, their starter, an early lead, thanks to a three-run top of the first. Rocco Arcieri led off the game with a double, Jeremy Figueroa delivered an RBI double, Manny Moreno added a sacrifice fly and Jayden Gonzalez lined a two strike breaking ball into left for the final RBI of the frame.

Hernandez was extremely sharp early in his outing, showing why he is one of the top junior arms in the state and the country. The talented right-hander sat 90-92 mph early on and was showing a true three-pitch mix from the first hitter on. Hernandez did not allow a hit until his fourth and final inning but started to lose command in the third when he walked in a run. All-in-all, Hernandez got a no decision going four innings, scattered three hits, two runs, five walks and striking out seven.

Billy LePretre was the lone Meteor with multiple hits, going 2-for-4 with a run scored.

Napleton led the way for St. Rita going 2-for-3 with the game-tying RBI single.

For more in-depth notes from the games - and all other games that we cover - visit the Illinois Scout Blog later.

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