Touching All the Bases: Lincoln-Way East's Alec Ornelas hit a two-out, two-strike RBI single between shortstop and third base in the top of the third inning to give the Griffins a 1-0 lead. It would prove to be the only run the Griffins would need as they stopped rival Lincoln-Way North 3-0 in a semifinal game at the Class 4A Sandburg Sectional on Thursday. The Griffins added two more runs in the top of seventh, once again on a two-out, two-strike hit, this time from Matt Rosenberger. Right-handed pitcher Mark Chemello was dominating, surrendering five hits in hurling his third shutout of the spring.
Patch’s MVP: Chemello found a way to shut down a Phoenix team that entered with a .380 team batting average. He only allowed the leadoff man to reach base twice and walked only one.
Lincoln-Way East Leaders: Ornelas drove in the game-winner and Rosenberger had a key two-run single for insurance. Rosenberger also reached via walk and was hit by pitch. Bobby Kosola went 2-for-4 and Cody Justus scored twice, had two hits and started both scoring innings for the Griffins in the third and seventh innings.
Lincoln-Way North Leaders: Sam Cook pitched 6.2 innings, allowed six hits and three earned runs. Alex Eaton went 2-for-3 with a double, and Colin Hannigan doubled.
Quotable I: Lincoln-Way East coach Paul Babcock on Chemello's performance: "He was fantastic. He got in a few jams here and there. When he was missing, he wasn't missing by much, unless he was trying to miss. He was popping that glove all day long and made a couple of huge pitches."
Quotable II: Lincoln-Way North coach Joe Skarbek on his team's rare lack of offense: "The conditions were right with the wind kind of blowing in and holding the ball for both teams. We just couldn't get anything going offensively and the big guns didn't hit the ball in the right spots."
Team Records: Lincoln-Way East is 24-12. Lincoln-Way North finishes 30-4.
What’s Next: Lincoln-Way East plays Sandburg at 11 a.m. on Saturday in the Class 4A Sandburg Sectional championship.