No. 2 Lemont rebounds to advance to 3A title game



By Sean Duncan
Executive Director

JOLIET - Before Lemont fans had time to settle into Silver Cross Field for the school’s first Class 3A state semifinal appearance, Metamora put two runs on the board against the normally rock-solid starter Charlie Wright.

Not exactly the start No. 2 Lemont had hoped.

Undaunted, Lemont’s offense erupted for five consecutive hits to open the bottom of the first, and Wright returned to form as the Indians rebounded to win 8-3 Friday morning to advance to the Class 3A championship game in Joliet.

Lemont advances to play No. 3 Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin (38-3) in the Class 3A state championship game at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, in which it will have ace left-hander Jake Latz ready to go.

“We have faced a lot of adversity this year,” said senior catcher Mike Papierski, who finished 2-for-4 with four RBI, including a two-run homer. “And most of the time we have come back from it.”

Metamora (26-13) came out the gates hot, in large part due to Wright’s command. After walking the leadoff hitter, junior second baseman Brady Fairfield smoked a triple to centerfield, and Wright followed with another walk. Metamora ultimately pushed two runs across.

“I was nervous, yes,” said Wright.

Lemont’s offense helped ease Wright’s mind, however, when it jumped all over Metamora starting pitcher Alex Lewis (7-2) for five consecutive hits. Senior DH Danny Dowiarz and senior centerfielder Ryan Folliard began the hit parade with singles, and Papierski, an LSU recruit who was drafted in the 16th round by the Blue Jays, followed with a two-run single. Senior first baseman Jake Terrazas and senior right fielder Eric Tucker each had run-scoring singles as well.

When the dust had cleared, Lemont had pounded out six hits and led 4-2.

“For us, that helped us get the momentum back to come out swinging from the get-go,” said Lemont coach Brian Storako.

Metamora, though, came right back to put runners on first and third with no outs in the second. With sophomore Garrett Acton warming up in the bullpen, Wright settled down. He struck out two and picked a runner off to get out of the inning unscathed.

The 5-foot-10, 150-pound Wright (8-1) dealt the rest of the way. After yielding three hits in the first two innings, the left-hander finished his complete-game five-hitter with seven strikeouts, two walks and two earned runs.

“I knew they would back me up and give me some runs,” said Wright, a Joliet Junior College recruit.

No. 9 hitter Jamie Glista delivered a two-run single in the fifth, and Papierski cemented the victory with a two-run home run to right field to make it 8-3.

“Our motto has been from the get-go, and we did it from the get-go,” said Papierski.

Lemont pounded out 13 hits in the game. Folliard, Papierski, Glista and Mike Wisz each had two hits apiece for the Indians.

“(Lemont) is every bit as good as advertised,” said Metamora coach Eric Stone, who started only two seniors. “They have a great team.”

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