Aloisio leads Maine South into semis

If Maine South coach Bill Milano needs someone on his staff to take the ball for a big game, senior Patrick Aloisio wants to be at the front of the line.

So when he sees his name on the lineup card as a starter, consider him more than pleased.

“I’ve been doing it my whole life, and I’m used to it,” Aloisio said. “It’s what I think about when I’m lying in bed. I don’t shy away from game like this, and I’m the happiest kid in the word when the coaches tell me I’ll be on the mound. It’s where I want to be.”

Pitching a six-inning gem to earn the win, Aloisio helped lead Maine South to a 3-1 win over Marian Catholic Tuesday at Benedictine University in Lisle at the Phil Lawler Classic in the Illinois High School Baseball Coaches Association playoffs.

With the win, Maine South advances to Wednesday’s semifinals at 5 p.m. at Benedictine against the winner of the Neuqua Valley vs. Lincoln-Way North game.

“This was a big win for us, and we’ve been working to this point all summer,” Maine South’s Keenan Kelly said. “Playing a quality team like Marian Catholic, you’ve got to come out here and play a good game.”

While Aloisio handled the pitching duties on the mound, it was Kelly leading the Hawks offensively, going 2-for-2 with two RBI. His double roped down the third-base line in the bottom of the first scored Jimmy Frankos all the way from first.

“I was seeing the ball pretty well today,” Kelly said. “The pitcher was throwing a lot of offspeed stuff, and I was trying to wait back on it. Down in the count, I was waiting for something slow, and I was able to get the barrel on it.”

After Kelly moved to third on a wild pitch, Brett Slager’s sacrifice fly to right brought him home to give Maine South (18-10) a 2-0 lead.

Aloisio surrendered a run in the top of the fourth when Jacob Lorenz’s RBI single scored Pat Swanson. That was all the senior starter would allow as he cruised through his six innings, scattering seven hits with three strikeouts. Jesus Saavedra pitched the seventh inning for his second save in two days.

Maine South added an insurance run on Kelly’s fifth-inning sacrifice fly that scored Jack Touhy.

“We’re excited whoever we face (in the semis),” Aloisio said. “We have an excellent shot to win it all, but we don’t want to look too far down the road.”

From Kelly’s perspective, he’s just glad to see the whole team together.

“We have scheduled days to show up (in the summer) so we never really have a full crew,” Kelly said. “Once we come out here for the playoffs, we’re all here, and we’re a pretty solid ballclub.”

Brett Lilek went 2-for-3 for Marian Catholic with a double with Ben Santori taking the loss, throwing six innings with eight hits allowed and three strikeouts.

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