No. 4 Lemont, Latz hand No. 9 Lincoln-Way West first loss



By Sean Duncan
Executive Director

LEMONT, IL – Lemont’s Jake Latz didn’t make his first start of the season until April 10. But the LSU-bound left-hander has quickly made his presence known that he is, arguably, the most polished pitcher in the state.

On Saturday, Latz mowed down yet another ranked opponent, this time handing No. 9 Lincoln-Way West its first loss, 3-0, in a nonconference matchup between top 10 teams. No. 4 Lemont (20-1) and Lincoln-Way West (21-1), along with No. 5 Joliet Catholic, are all in the same Class 3A Regional and will likely square off again in late May.

Lemont scored two runs in the bottom of the first inning, which was more than enough for Latz (4-0). The 6-foot-2, 190-pounder cruised to a four-hit complete game with 13 strikeouts, one walk and one hit batsman. Lincoln-Way West only reached second base once, in the second inning, before Latz struck out the next two batters. Latz finished with gusto, too, striking out three in the seventh, along with issuing his only walk of the game.

This season Latz has already knocked off No. 6 Mount Carmel, No. 16 Sandburg and now No. 9 Lincoln-Way West.

On Saturday, Lemont senior CF Ryan Folliard led off the bottom of the first with a single, and came around to score on catcher Mike Papierski’s fielder’s choice groundball on a bang-bang play at the plate. The Indians made it 2-0 on senior 1B Jake Terrazas’ RBI single.

Lemont added an insurance run in the third when Folliard reached on an error, and Papierski walked. The pair executed a double steal, and Houston-bound SS Mike Wisz followed with a sacrifice fly to score Folliard.

Junior 3B Mike Gralla finished 2-for-2 with a double for Lemont, which only tallied five hits against West starting RHP Dylan Eller (3-1) and reliever LHP Ben Francis.

Lincoln-Way West RF Zach Speaker opened the fourth inning with a single on one of the few curveballs Latz left up in the zone. But Speaker was quickly erased when Papierski back-picked him at first base. 1B Dan Brokop followed with a single before Latz struck out the next batter and induced a weak grounder to get out of the inning.

More in-depth scouting notes will be posted in the Illinois Scout Blog later.

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