Prep Baseball Report

No. 2 Lemont steamrolls De La Salle in 3A supersectional

By Drake Skleba
Senior Writer

CRESTWOOD - The LSU-bound battery of lefty Jake Latz and catcher Mike Papierski put on quite a show for the large crowd at Monday’s Class 3A Standard Bank Stadium Supersectional. Latz allowed an unearned run and three hits in 5.1 stellar innings of work. He also struck out nine and did not walk a batter.

Papierski hammered an RBI triple in the Indians’ three-run first inning and then smoked an RBI double in the four-run fourth to lead the Indians past De La Salle 11-1 in six innings. With the win, Lemont (33-5) will meet Metamora (26-12) in the first Class 3A State Semifinal on Friday morning at Silver Cross Field in Joliet at 10.  

“I was able to establish my fastball early,” said Latz, who improved to 9-0. “My teammates were able to get some early runs and I really finished the outing strong. It’s been a wild week for me, and I’m very proud of my accomplishments, but I want most of all to cap everything off with a state championship this weekend.”

After Latz put a goose egg on the Standard Bank Stadium scoreboard in the top of the first, his teammates erupted for three runs in the bottom of the first. Papierski drove in the first run with the RBI triple. Papieski would race home with the second run on a wild pitch. Sophomore Nick Wisz’s clutch two-out RBI single would make in 3-0.

“This was a great victory for us tonight,” said Wisz. “Jake pitched his usual great performance and we all had some big hits. I really am happy that I was able to produce for the team tonight.”

De La Salle (24-14) would pick up an unearned run against Latz on  two-out RBI single from senior James Baran.

The Indians would tack on a run in the third and blow the game open with a big four spot in the fourth. Papierski’s RBI double and the second RBI single from Nick Wisz would highlight the inning.

“Jake had everything working tonight. His fastball was up around 91-92 and he pitched another great game for us,” said Papierski. “I’m Jake’s biggest critic. I ride him hard to get the most out of him. He is a tremendous talent.”

University of Houston-bound Mike Wisz would drive home a pair of runs with a two-out double in the bottom of the fifth. With two outs in the bottom of the sixth, Lemont senior Brett Twohill’s single to right, would plate junior shortstop Mike Gralla with the run that would mercifully put an end to the proceedings in Crestwood.

De La Salle closes out an outstanding season under the tutelage of head coach Mark Higgins. The Meteors were Chicago Catholic League White Division co-champions with Fenwick and regional and sectional champions for the Chicago Bronzeville Catholic Institution.

“That was just another example of the way Jake Latz can pitch,” said Lemont head coach Brian Storako. “Jake has done this all year and Jake and Mike just work so well together that they are an unbeatable team. Our goal has always been to win the Class 3A state championship.”  

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