Baseball: Lyons, Sandburg play to 11-inning tieLyons Township's Alex Vannucci (25) throws out Carl Sandburg's Brandon Orsini (15) on a bunt attempt in the 11th inning on March 28, 2012, in Western Springs. The 11-inning game ended in a 3-3 tie. | Rob Hart~Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 28, 2012 10:11PM
The state final series for baseball doesn’t start until June. However, the marathon back-and-forth battle between top-ranked Lyons and Sandburg had the feel of a state championship game in March.
Sandburg tied the game in the seventh inning and forced Lyons to come from behind twice in extra innings to earn a 3-3 tie. The game was called after 11 innings due to fading sunlight.
‘‘It was a great high school baseball game,’’ Sandburg coach Jim Morsovillo said. ‘‘There was a playoff atmosphere out here. It was just two teams competing very hard.’’
Austin Cangelosi smoked a double off of the center-field fence to put the Eagles (1-0-1) ahead 3-2 when he drove in Justin Joy in the 11th inning. Cangelosi had three hits for the game.
But Lyons (3-0-1) refused to quit and Stewart Nelson followed Brad Taylor’s double with one of his own to tie the game. Reliever Bryan Pall immediately followed that with two strikeouts to complete the game. The double was Taylor’s third hit of the game.
‘‘It was our whole team that hung in there together,’’ Lyons pitcher Keith Lehmann said. ‘‘Stewart and Brad really came up big for us late.’’
Lehmann came up big all game long. The junior, right-hander went nine innings and scattered 10 hits while only allowing one earned run — a home run to Zach Reks in the eighth inning. But Lehmann redeemed himself when he drove Evan Booth home with a double to center field that tied the game at 2. Lehmann had two hits and also scored a run.
‘‘We could’ve won the game in the seventh inning,’’ Lyons coach George Ushela said. ‘‘Keith is a solid player all-around. He was dominant on the mound today.’’
Sandburg tied the game up in its last at-bat in regulation when Alec Nelson led off with a double to right field. He came around to score from third when Lyons could not convert a 1-6-3 double play that would’ve ended the game.
Reks led Sandburg with four hits. David Cronin added three from the two-spot and Nelson had a pair of hits. Matt Farrington went seven innings for the Eagles while allowing only three hits.