No. 8 Plainfield South and Stagg Crowned Regional Champs At Ozinga Field

By: Adam Panayotovich
Area Scout

Game 1 - Plainfield South vs Oswego East

The Plainfield South Cougars demonstrated offensive team cohesion and stellar defense to best the Oswego East Wolves 9-3 in the first of two Regional Championships Saturday in Crestwood. Cougars starting pitcher Griffin Lapp (Concordia St. Paul commit) kept the Wolves bats in check avoiding the big inning in his 5 ⅓ IP on the bump.

Lapp was on cruise control in the early going as the righty faced the minimum through three innings with four punchouts. Wolves LHSP Adam Dowler followed suit as the Purdue commit coasted through an inning and ⅔ until four free passes and two hit-by-pitches gave South their first lead, 3-0 after two innings of play. The game did not see a lead change from here on out.

Cougar SS Tylor Phommachanhom delivered a one-out triple deep to left/centerfield in the 3rd and next man up Tony Mosher (Des Moine Area CC commit) executed a perfect suicide squeeze expanding the South lead 4-0 after three.

The first signs of offensive life for the Wolves sparked up as they scored a run in three consecutive innings starting in the 4th. LHH leadoff man Cameron Knauss (Uncommitted senior) tripled to lead off the inning and Colin Witzke (Kent State commit) wasted little time sacrificing him in on a deep fly to right. Lapp halted the scoring with two quick outs to end the inning; 4-1 score after four.

With the momentum seeming to shift in favor of Oswego East, junior outfielder Jacob Ferry  added to it with a monster solo shot over the right field fence in the 5th (below). Yet again, Lapp silenced the Wolves faithful as he struck out the final two hitters of the inning.  

Witzke scored the third and final run for Oswego East as he doubled in the 6th and came around to score on a flare single to left from Dowler. This time Lapp received a little help from his friends as RHP Brady Shelton came on in relief collecting two quick outs to end the threat.

Plainfield South drove the nail deep in the coffin as they put up a crooked number in their bottom part of the 6th. With the bases loaded and Lapp at the dish, a defensive miscue on a batted ball cleared the bases and three batters later Phommachanhom smacked a two-run single to center that put the Cougars up 9-3 capping off the five-run frame. Shelton slammed the door in the 7th punching the Cougars’ ticket to Sectionals and hoisting their 4A Regional Plaque high overhead.

Lapp earned the victory finishing with a line: 5.1IP, 5H, 3R, 3ER, 8K (57-80 for strikes). Phommachanhom lead the Cougars offensive box score going 2-for-3 with a 2B, a 3B, 2RBI and a run scored. Dowler took the loss for the Wolves finishing with a line: 5IP, 6R, 5ER, 7K, 7BB, 2HBP.

With the win, Plainfield South advances to the Sectional Semifinals on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. at host site Oswego HS against the Plainfield Central Wildcats.

Game 2 - Stagg Vs Lincoln-way Central

The Stagg Chargers claimed a Regional crown of their own in a quick paced game that ended in a 1-0 victory over the Lincoln-Way Central Knights. Stagg’s Luke Pitcher was the X-factor as the right-hander earned the starting nod and didn’t disappoint going the distance in a complete game effort blanking a scrappy Knights squad.

Pitcher pounded the zone all game long making big pitch after big pitch. LWC’s Kyle Labedz and Mike Maloney delivered back to back singles to lead off the 4th putting two runners on with no outs. Facing the heart of the order, Pitcher induced an infield pop-out, a strikeout looking and a groundout to third baseman Eddie Lovell who made a plus play ranging to his glove hand ending the Knights surge.

Sophomore outfielder Austin Stone did all the damage necessary for Stagg in the top of the first sending an RBI triple that one-hopped the centerfield wall. The sole extra base hit of the contest scored Dante Pieri who reached via a two-out walk.

The Knights did not go out without a fight. Pitcher plunked sophomore Turner Doran to start off the bottom half of the 7th putting the lead and tying run on. Next man up, Matt Maloney, not to get confused with brother Mike, laid down a sacrifice bunt advancing Doran to second. After receiving the put out, newly entered Stagg first-baseman Clay Bumsted fired a bee-bee behind the runner at second base to double him off on a bang bang play. Crowd and benches uproar. A groundout to Pieri at second base ended the game and sent the Chargers to the win column as they hoisted their 4A Regional title.

Pitcher earned the win with a line: 7IP, 3H, 0R, 4K, BB (54 of 84 for strikes). Matt Maloney suffered the loss finishing with a line: 5.2IP. 3H, ER, 6K, 4BB.

With the win, Stagg advances to the Sectional Semifinals on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. at host site Lockport Township HS against the Providence Catholic Celtics.

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