Prep Baseball Report

No. 7 St. Rita Walks-Off No. 1 St. Laurence In Extras

By: Adam Panayotovich
Area Scout

CHICAGO, IL - The No. 7 ranked St. Rita Mustangs played host to No. 1 St. Laurence in the first showdown of this star studded CCL blue rivalry. It was a perfect sun filled afternoon at Mike Zunica field as the Mustangs handed the Vikings their first defeat within their home state. The back and forth game ended in dramatic fashion in the bottom of the eighth inning as Luke Napleton stepped in the box with the bases loaded against Matt McCormick (West Virginia commit) delivering a sacrifice fly to right scoring Brendan Carrane (St. Louis commit), the game winning run. 8-7 final.

Both teams were busy early. St. Laurence plated two runs in the top of the first on a Vytas Valincius (South Carolina commit) sacrifice groundout to the right side followed up by a pass ball bringing in McCormick. Things got a little chirpy as speculation of a spikes up slide at home caused an uproar in both dugouts. St. Rita answered hastily when Carrane singled to leadoff their half of the first. Two singles and two walks later, St. Rita took a 3-2 lead, headlined by a Matt Callahan (St. Thomas commit) RBI hit through the left side.

St. Laurence struck again in the second scoring a pair on back to back bases loaded walks. In the bottom of the frame, Jalen Greer (Missouri commit) delivered perhaps the hardest hit ball of the day to center, good for a two-run single.

Vikings nine hole hitter Luke Montgomery scored a run all on his own in the 4th as he walked, stole second, stole third and advanced home on an errant throw by the catcher. Four batters later, Valincius roped a line drive RBI single up the middle scoring Jake Vera who reached on a perfectly executed bunt down the third base line. Greer picked up his second extra base hit of the contest in the bottom of the inning shooting a triple to right field scoring Matt Dunleavy. 6-6 tie.

After a somewhat silent 5th and 6th, Vikings teammates McCormick and Matt Dornbos both singled in the top of the seventh. Marc Babicz then took to the box and clubbed a go-ahead double over the left fielders head. The inning ended with a play at the plate as Callahan, the Mustangs center fielder, gunned down Dornbos attempting to score on a sacrifice fly. Momentum swung.

After two quick outs in the bottom of the 7th, St. Rita decided to keep it interesting. Napleton walked setting up Callahan for an RBI double to left/center field that seemed to be misplayed by the Vikings outfielders. Enter McCormick to the mound and last years IL Player of the Year left the bases juiced with Mustangs, inducing a fly ball to right sending the game to extras.

St. Laurence would offer no threat in the top of the 8th going three up and three down. In the bottom of the frame, Carrane, Sean McDevitt and Greer delivered back to back to back singles setting up Napleton for the walk off heroics.

Justin Valdez earned the win for the Mustangs going three innings in relief on three hits, one earned, one walk and one punch out. Jimmy Moylan started for St. Rita and finished with a line: 5IP, 4H, 6R, 3ER, K, 6BB.

McCormick took the tough loss for the Vikings. Chris Seropian threw well in relief of starter Max Engstrom. Seropian tossed five and a third on three hits allowing two earned runs with two walks and three K’s.

St. Laurence hosts St. Rita in the rematch on Thursday afternoon at 4:30pm.


+ Jalen Greer (St. Rita): 3-for-4, 3B, 3 RBI, R, BB.
+ Matt Callahan (St. Rita): 2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 SB
+ Brendan Carrane (St. Rita): 2-for-4, 3 R, BB
+ Marc Babicz (St. Laurence): 2-for-4, 2B, RBI
+ Matt McCormick (St. Laurence): 1-for-2, RBI, 2 R, 2 BB, SB
+ Jake Vera (St. Laurence): 1-for-1, RBI, R, 3 BB