Prep Baseball Report

3A Super-Sectional: Vera Walks It Off In The 7th, Sends St. Laurence To State

By: Adam Panayotovich
Area Scout

CRESTWOOD, IL - In the first game of a Super-Sectional double header at Ozinga Field, the St. Laurence Vikings won the coin flip to claim home against the De La Salle Meteors. The two teams faced off once earlier in the regular season with the Vikings claiming victory, only this time the season was on the line along with a trip to the 3A State Semifinals in Joliet. With the scored notched up at two and two outs in the bottom of the 7th, Jake Vera singled to center on a 1-1 changeup plating Alex Gasbarro from second sending the Vikings to the highly coveted, celebratory mosh pit (below).

Before the 7th inning heroics, both starting pitchers controlled most of the contest. Viking’s LHSP Chris Seropian was his usual self pounding the zone with hit patented FB/CB combo using the changeup when necessary. The two runs for the Meteors were scored on one swing of the bat in the 2nd inning. Junior second baseman Jeremy Figueroa sent the first pitch he saw on the day over the left field fence driving in Matt Boehm who reached via walked. Only one other Meteor touched second base on the day.

The Meteor’s leaned on their ace in RHP Ben Hernandez (UIC commit). He showed his dominance early striking out the side in the first frame sitting his fastball at 91-93 mph. He relied on his advanced FB/CH combination for most of the game, which generated numerous swings and misses (below). However, the Vikings answered Figueroa’s blast with two manufactured runs of their own in the bottom half of the 2nd. Gasbarro and Luke Montgomery both picked up RBI infield singles plating Marc Babicz, who singled, and Matt Dornbos, who reached via a fielder’s choice. Hernandez faced two more than the minimum through the next four frames.

Gasbarro collected his second single of the game for the Vikings with one out in the bottom of the 7th. Two batters later, Vera delivered the hit that sent the St. Laurence faithful into an uproar.

Seropian earned the complete game victory going seven innings on four hits and three walks allowing two earned runs with seven punchouts. He converted 73 of his 113 pitches for strikes inducing ten flyouts and a pair of ground ball putouts.

Hernandez took the loss for the Meteors in six and two-thirds innings pitched allowing eight hits, seven singles, two walks, three earned runs, while fanning six (68 of 109 for strikes). Figueroa led the De La Salle offense with three singles and the two-run blast.

Montgomery and Gasbarro each had a pair of singles with one RBI apiece on the day to lead the Vikings offense.

With the win, St. Laurence advances to the 3A State Semifinal on Friday (6/7) at 10:00 a.m. at Joliet’s newly named DuPage Medical Group Field against the Waterloo Vikings.