No. 18 St. Laurence Pushes Two Across Late, Beats No. 17 St. Rita

By Drew Locascio
Illinois Scouting Director

No. 18 St. Laurence hosted No. 17 St. Rita on Thursday afternoon in a typical, intense, rowdy Chicago Catholic League - Blue matchup. St. Rita rallied late to tie it but St. Laurence answered, eventually knocking off the Mustangs 5-3.

St. Rita (12-6) made it a game in the top of the sixth inning, scoring two runs to tie up the game at three. The first two batters of the inning reached base via free passes. After a sacrifice bunt moved the runners to second and third, sophomore Tommy Atkinson hammered a pitch to deep center field which tied up the game and gave St. Rita the go-ahead run on third base with one out. 

Junior Ryan Carroll, who came on in relief, stepped up however and induced an infield flyout and a flyout to center, avoiding any more damage. Heading to the bottom half of the sixth inning both teams were tied up at three.

The Vikings of St. Laurence (15-4) answered right back in the bottom half of the sixth with two runs of their own, ultimately sealing the victory. Sophomore Luke Stulga hit a one out double and later was standing on third with two outs and unsigned senior Michael Laudando at the plate. Laudando chopped a ball in front of the mound that the pitcher bounced off the mound to field. Unfortunately for St. Rita, the throw was errant, allowing Stulga to score the go-ahead run and Laudando ended up at third base when all was said and done. Evansville commit, senior Kevin McCormick added the second run of the frame on a chopper that bounded over the third baseman's head, bringing in Stulga to make it a 5-3 game. 

Carroll went back out for the top of the seventh and picked up the win going three up, three down in the frame. 

Freshman RHP Kannen Mosher got the start on the mound and was handed a tough-luck no decision for St. Laurence. Mosher worked with an upper-70’s fastball and showed good feel for a 65-68 mph breaking ball that he was able to land for strikes throughout. On the day, Mosher went five innings, scattered eight hits, one run, struck out five and walked two. 72% of his 67 pitches landed for strikes. Mosher is a competitive freshman who made a number of big pitches in big spots and should be a quality arm for Coach Lotus and staff for years to come. 

St. Laurence jumped out to an early 1-0 lead thanks to an RBI double by McCormick in the bottom of the first inning. The Vikings scored two more runs in the bottom of the fifth on consecutive RBI singles by junior Angelo Luna and sophomore Johnny Wendling. The two runs gave St. Laurence a 3-1 lead heading to the sixth.

There were a number of impressive plays throughout the game, specifically by the right fielders; Luke Stulga for St. Laurence and Steve Sanderson for St. Rita. Stulga gunned down a runner at the plate, trying to score from second, on a single to right field by St. Rita leadoff man Brandon Buday. Stulga threw a perfect strike to the catcher for the 9-2 putout. Sanderson followed up with a highlight reel diving grab of his own. The diving catch potentially saved two runs and got St. Rita out of a jam at the time.

The two teams will face off once again on Saturday at St. Rita at 11:00 am.


+ Kevin McCormick (St. Laurence): 2-for-3, 2B, BB, 2 RBIs, R
+ Luke Stulga (St. Laurence): 1-for-3, 2B, R
+ Al Holguin (St. Rita): 2-for-4
+ Brandon Norred (St. Rita): 2-for-4, 2B, RBI

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