Baseball: Zach Lewis, St Laurence blaze past Oak Lawn
Updated: March 29, 2012 7:58PM
Mother Nature didn’t provide much heat Thursday afternoon, with the temperature hovering in the mid-40s.
St. Laurence pitcher Zach Lewis, however, brought the heat, compliments of a blazing fastball.
Lewis fired a four-hitter and struck out eight to lead No. 2 St. Laurence to a 4-2 win over Oak Lawn in Burbank.
The junior, who transferred from Marist over the summer, relied primarily on his fastball to tame the Spartans offense.
“My off-speed stuff wasn’t there, so I threw mainly fastballs,” Lewis said. “My defense helped me out.”
Oak Lawn’s defense didn’t help out pitcher Nick Mozwecz. The Spartans committed two errors, both leading to Vikings runs that proved to be the difference.
Oak Lawn (3-4) grabbed the early 2-0 lead.
Consecutive one-out singles by Mike Yacko and Cody Marek ignited the rally. A St. Laurence miscue allowed one run to score and then Mozwecz helped his own cause with a single to left for a 2-0 advantage. It could have been a more productive inning for Oak Lawn, but Lewis, who threw 104 pitches, struck out Brian Barnhouse and got Chris Rafacz to pop out with the bases loaded.
“Zach was tremendous,” St. Laurence coach Pete Lotus said. “If he throws strikes, he’s going to be tough to beat.”
The Spartans registered one hit the final five innings.
Generally, Nick Altobella stars on the mound for the Vikings (7-0). On this day, the University of Alabama-Birmingham recruit did some damage with the bat. Altobella doubled to lead off the third and scored on a Spartans error to cut the lead to 2-1.
He then singled home the tying run in the fourth.
“Nick comes in for extra hitting and works hard,” Lotus said. “He has a nice swing.”
St. Laurence scored twice in the fifth to take a 4-2 advantage. Luke Babich reached on an error to lead off the inning and scored on Brad Wood’s sacrifice fly. Mike Kornacker followed with a single to score Brandon Mallder for the final run of the game
Mozwecz was tagged with the tough-luck loss, scattering seven hits, walking two and striking out two.