Updated: April 19, 2012 10:46PM
It’s usually safe to assume that a starting pitcher who doesn’t allow a hit after five innings would have a good chance to pick up a victory.
It didn’t happen for Lyons junior Zach Carlson, who made his varsity starting debut Thursday in a nonconference game at Willowbrook. While Carlson was cruising for most of the game, Willowbrook junior right-hander David Cericola was pitching his own gem and ultimately allowed only one run on five hits in five innings.
The Warriors won 4-1 to beat the defending Class 4A state champions. Dominic Battaglia broke up Carlson’s no-hitter with a single to right field to lead off the bottom of the sixth inning and the Warriors (9-11) would add two more hits and three runs in the inning to hand Carlson the loss. Carlson was removed after throwing 5 2/3 innings.
Cericola (4-0) allowed six walks, but struck out seven batters.
“It felt great. I came out and threw where I wanted to throw the ball,” Cericola said. “I hit my spots.”
Cericola claimed his most effective pitch was his slider, but he kept Lyons (11-5-1) off balance with a curve and change-up. The game was tied 1-1 through five innings after Lyons scored in the fourth on Evan Booth’s RBI single to left field, which scored Mike Lorenz. Willowbrook scored the game’s first run in the third when the Warriors had the bases loaded with one out.
Tom Van Kooten lined out to Booth in left, but Battaglia tagged up to try to advance from second to third. Battaglia was tagged out to complete a double play, but Mark Garbacz was ruled safe at home after tagging up from third base.
Carlson, a right-hander, not only made his first start, but pitched for more than two innings for the first time. He is usually part of the Lyons bullpen that includes left-handers Alex Vannucci and Tom Prescott. Against Willowbrook, Carlson walked three and struck out two.
“I was nervous at the beginning, but I think I handled it well,” Carlson said. “I lost my control near the finish. I threw strikes over the plate and they got it.”
Lyons threatened in the seventh with a pair of singles by Keith Lehmann and Brad Taylor to open the inning, but Cericola struck out the rest of the side.
Lyons starts a three-game series against Glenbard West with a doubleheader at 10 a.m. Saturday in Western Springs.