Walsh blasts Lyons past Glenbard NorthGlenbard North's Jake Kline (10) and Sean Fogarty (11) collide while chasing after a foul ball against Lyons. | Brian O'Mahoney~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 1, 2011 10:51PM
Lyons designated hitter Tom Walsh isn’t picky when it comes to which of his hits he enjoyed more Wednesday.
The senior’s just glad he was able to help the Lions beat Glenbard North 3-2 in the Class 4A St. Charles North Sectional semifinal.
After pulling Lyons within 2-1 with an opposite-field home run over the right-field fence in the bottom of the second inning, Walsh blooped a two-run single just over the head of Glenbard North second baseman Brandon Villanueva for the deciding runs of the game.
“I just missed the pitch that put us ahead and popped it up, but somehow it fell in and that was really nice. I wasn’t expecting that,” Walsh said. “The home run felt real good. (LT) coach (George Ushela) talked to us about how (Glenbard North ace pitcher Andrew Bergmann) was going to challenge us and throw his curveball down in the dirt. If he’s going to make a mistake, he’s going to make a mistake with a fastball and that’s what he made a mistake with on me.”
Lyons (33-4) advances to Saturday’s sectional final where it will play either No. 2 St. Charles East or No. 14 Glenbard West, which play in the other sectional semifinal Thursday.
The top-seeded Lions will be seeking their first sectional championship since advancing to state in 2006.
Glenbard North (23-12), which was seeded No. 5 in the sectional, jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first on an RBI single by Jake Kline and sacrifice fly by Ryan Gallagher, but couldn’t get anything else off of LT senior pitcher Connor Cuff, who has a 17-0 record on the mound the past two seasons.
Cuff (9-0) allowed just three singles the rest of the way in his complete-game effort. He struck out nine, walked none and hit two batters.
“I knew after the first we’d get runs because we’re a good-hitting team,” Cuff said. “I knew I just had to keep us close because we always seem to rally when we’re down. I knew I couldn’t let that first inning dictate the game. It’s always in the back of my mind that I have to do everything I can to get the win. That’s all I’ve ever really cared about here. I know that if I pitch my game, usually we’ll have a chance to win it.”
Bergmann (9-3) also pitched a complete game, allowing three runs in six innings.
The Panthers threatened to increase their 2-1 lead in the third inning with runners on second and third and two outs, but LT third baseman Keith Lehmann made a diving stop of a ground ball, got up and threw to first baseman Brian Rodemoyer, who made a nice scoop to prevent at least one run from scoring.
“This was a good win,” Ushela said. “Connor pitched real well. It was a shaky first inning, but Connor bore down and did the job the rest of the way and we just got enough offense. Tommy (Walsh) got us going. It was big that we came back that next inning and put up a run. His bloop hit was also big.”