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By Drake Skleba
For the Bugle 

Izquierdo blast leads Lockport past Providence 12-2, in six innings, in WJOL/Don Ladas Memorial Tourney semifinal

Minooka stops Plainfield Central 4-1

 

Last updated 4/22/2021 at 12:59pm



"I tell the kids to just stay close," Lockport head coach Andy Satunas said. "With the way we can hit, good things will happen."

In their 12th Annual WJOL/Don Ladas Memorial Baseball Tournament semifinal versus Providence, the Porters listened to their head coach.

With the Porters up 1-0, Providence (4-2), sophomore Gavin Gomez hammered a two-run blast to right that left the premises here at historic Ed Flink Field for a 2-1 Celtics lead after an inning in a half.

The Porters (4-1) crawled back into a 2-2 tie on an RBI ground out from sophomore Anthony Martinez.

In the bottom of the fifth, the Porter bats awakened from their four-inning slumber — all after two out.

The Porters took the lead on a seeing-eye, two-out, RBI single from leadoff man senior Matt Santarelli (1-for-3, 3R, RBI), scoring senior DH Matt Merk, who had ripped his second double of the game. The red-hot Porter senior shortstop, Ryan Moerman (1-for-2, 2B, 2RBI) was semi-intentionally walked.

Big mistake.

On a 3-1 count, the Porters 6-foot-2, 205 pound junior first baseman, Vic Izquierdo (1-for-2, HR, 3RBI, 2BB) hammered a three-run bomb over the center field fence giving the Porters a 6-2 lead. The ball that Izquierdo hit was last seen crossing I-355 heading northeast.

"I knew I had to put the ball in play and drive in runs to add to our lead," Izquierdo said. "I got a 3-1 pitch and hit the ball hard. It felt great to see it go out for the three-run homer. We knew eventually that everything works out fine for us here at Ed Flink

"We are so confident in our abilities that we feel no matter who we play tomorrow, we will bring our third consecutive WJOL/Don Ladas Memorial Baseball Tournament Championship trophy back here to Lockport."

The Porters put the game in the W column with a six-run sixth inning, for a 12-2 slaughter-rule victory over an outstanding Providence Celtics ball club.

Although he didn't get a decision, Porter senior starting pitcher Joe Seiber (4.2, 2R, 3H, 2ER, 7K, 0BB) followed Satunas' orders and kept the Porters close. Seiber's only mistake was the two-run homer by Gomez. Seiber struck out seven Celtic hitters and did not walk one.

"I went out there and threw strikes," Seiber said. "My defense did the job behind me and I was happy to strike out seven and not walk a batter."

Junior David Zaragoza (1-0) relieved Seiber with two out in the Providence fifth with a Celtic on first base. Zaragoza (1.1 IP, 2H,1K,1BB) dispatched the final Celtic on strikes to end the top of the fifth. He allowed a pair of singles in the sixth but get bailed out by a Moerman 6-3 double play.

After hammering a two-run bomb against Lincoln-Way West on Monday, Merk had a perfect 3-for-3 day at the plate with two doubles and scored two Porter runs.

"After hitting the two-run homer against Lincoln-Way West on Monday.I am just so confident when I go up to the plate," Merk said. "We are so confident as a team right now. Everybody 1-thru-9 in our lineup can hit. We feel we can beat anyone. We feel we will win the WJOL/Don Ladas Memorial Baseball Tournament Championship, tomorrow night."

"As I said, we just have to stay close," Satunas added. "Victor (Izquierdo) is a great hitter and his three-run homer led us to the victory. Joe (Seiber) threw strikes and kept us close. Joe (Seiber) pitched well for us for a no decision. David (Zaragoza) is a man of few words but he does the job for us on the mound."

The Porters will look for their third consecutive WJOL/Ladas Tournament championship when they take on the Minooka Indians (2-2), Thursday at 7:30 at DuPage Medical Group Field.

SEMIFINAL 2

MINOOKA 4 Plainfield Central 1

Pitching.

Is always in abundance at Minooka High School under the tutelage of Indians head coach Jeff Petrovic.

Behind a combined two-hitter from senior RHP Kyle Walter (1-1) and junior RHP Ryan Norman, Minooka (2-2) defeated the previously-undefeated Wildcats of Plainfield Central 4-1.

The first four innings of the semifinal a pitchers' duel between Walter and Wildcat ace Jack Gavin (4.2 2R. 3H. 6K. 5BB) broke out.

The Indians used a little two-out magic to get on the board in the top of the third inning. After Mitch Thomas doubled with one out, Ivan Dahlberg ripped a clutch two-out RBI single scoring Thomas for a 1-0 Minooka lead.

The Wildcats tied the game in the fourth at 1-1 with some two-out magic of their own. With two outs, Spencer Ruch would drove home Josh Cunniff who had singled to knot this one up at 1-1.

In the top of the fifth, the Indians received four consecutive bases on balls to take a lead they would never relinquish, 2-1. Nick Gehrke picked up the game-winning RBI on the fourth base on balls of the inning.

In the sixth, Niko Bibian added to the Indians lead with an RBI double and in the top of the seventh Joey Gould added an RBI single for a 4-1 Indians lead.

Norman faced just seven hitters in dispatching the hard-hitting Wildcats in the sixth and seventh innings to pick up save for Walter.

Walter allowed a run and two hits in his game-winning, five inning performance on the mound striking out eight and walking four,

Minooka-Lockport

Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. for the 12th Annual WJOL/Don Ladas Memorial Baseball Tournament Championship

at DuPage Medical Group Field (Slammers Stadium) in Joliet.

Plainfield Central (3-1) and Providence (4-2) will play for third place at 4:30 p.m.

 

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