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Seiber and Martinez lead Porters past arch-rival Sandburg in "Do it Stevie's Way" tourney

After falling to Brother Rice 8-4 on Tuesday in their "Do it Stevie's Way" Steven M. Bajenski Memorial Baseball Tournament opener, the Lockport Porters rebounded rather smartly on Wednesday.

Behind senior right-handed pitcher Joe Seiber and sophomore right-hander Anthony Martinez, the Porters defeated their Southwest Suburban Blue rivals from Sandburg 4-1. The two Porter hurlers combined on a three-hitter with eight strikeouts.

In fact, in their two pool-play games, Porter pitchers allowed just nine hits and two earned runs in 13 innings pitched.

The Porters struck for three runs in the top of the first innings.

Porter leadoff man Matt Santarelli (2-for-4, R) led off the game with a single and scored on a Sandburg throwing error for a 1-0 Porter lead. Martinez made it 2-0 Porters with his RBI single, scoring senior Ryan Moerman (1-for-3, R), who had been hit by a pitch. Junior Griffin Brown's RBI ground out plated Martinez with the third Porter run of the inning.

Sandburg (0-2) scored the Eagle's only run of the game on a two-out RBI triple from Jeremy Johnson. The Porters took a 3-1 lead into the top of the second.

Seiber was staring putting zeros up on the Ozinga Field scoreboard.

With two outs in the fifth, a Porter miscue ended Sieber's night to a rousing cheer from the large contingent of Porter faithful.

"My first outing of the year and I stayed calm on the mound," Seiber said. "I threw strikes and my off-speed pitch was what I picked up my strikeouts on. We did what we had to today to get our first win of the year. It feels great."

Enter Martinez, the Porter closer.

Martinez struck out the final Eagle batter in the fifth and then sat down the next six Eagle hitters in order to nail down the save for Seiber (1-0). Martinez has a flair for good theatre, as he struck out the last two Sandburg batters to end the game with a flourish. Happy Birthday, Anthony.

"I was just working down on my fast ball and also kept my off-speed pitches down and that allowed me to be successful," Martinez said. "Great to pick up our first win of the season."

In the top of the fourth inning, nursing a 3-1 Porter lead, senior Jake Sitterly drove home a huge insurance run for Lockport (1-1). With senior Connor Christian on base with a walk, Sitterly launched a rocket to the left field wall for a clutch, two-out RBI double scoring Christian for a 4-1 Porter lead.

"We battled today and it feels good to come away with our first win," Sitterly said. "I was thinking away first but then I got an inside pitch and turned on it for the RBI double."

Up next for the Porters? We don't know.

Later tonight, "Do it Stevie's Way" Tournament Director Mark Bajenski will work through all of the tie-breakers of the 1-1 teams. The Porters will meet one of them on Thursday at a site and time to be be determined.

"I'm really proud of the team for the way they bounced back from yesterday," Lockport coach Andy Satunas said. "We played much better defense and Joe (Seiber) had great control of the strike zone. Anthony (Martinez) then came in and slammed the door on Sandburg.

"It's Anthony's birthday today and he celebrated with a great save. He also drove in a run in the three-run first inning. Jake Sitterly really helped us with the clutch two-out, RBI double, to give us a big insurance run. Tonight we will watch tourney machine and find out who we play on Thursday."


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