Baseball: Evan Martens, Lockport blank Lincoln-Way EastLockport's starting pitcher Evan Martens makes the tag at home on Lincoln Way East's Brandon Nathan at Lockport's Garfield Park in Lockport, Illinois, Friday, Apr. 13, 2012. | Michael DiNovo~For the Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 13, 2012 7:58PM
When Lockport junior right-hander Evan Martens noticed the home plate umpire was giving him the outside corner, he drew the obvious conclusion.
“I threw the ball there a lot,” he said after firing a four-hit shutout Friday in a 2-0 SouthWest Suburban Blue victory over Lincoln-Way East at Ed Flink Field. The win avenged a 4-3, eight-inning loss to the Griffins the No. 5 Porters suffered two nights earlier.
The Porters (9-5, 1-1) received an economic outing from Martens (2-2), who threw 87 pitches — 52 for strikes. “I was using the curve as my setup pitch,” he said. “I knew I had to fix the mistakes I made the last time I pitched last week. We had to get back to .500 (in the league) and stay in the race.”
“Evan did a great job getting ahead of hitters,” Lockport coach Andy Satunas said.
Lincoln-Way East (9-5, 1-1) stranded two runners, both in the fourth inning. But Martens retired the 4-5 hitters to escape.
“(Pitching coach Butch) Markelz stresses to me to get ahead of hitters especially when I’m in trouble,” he said. “I knew I didn’t have to strike people out because my defense had my back.”
Martens struck out five and walked one. Catcher Derek Bangert threw out two potential base stealers and flipped to Martens to retire a runner attempting to score on a potential passed ball.
Lockport scored in the second and fourth innings against tough-luck loser Brandon Bollman (2-2), a senior right-hander, on singles by Austin Kolmodin and Ron Sessler, respectively. The first of two Dan Sullivan hits set up the first run and Bangert’s double led to the second.
“Bollman pitched great, the best I’ve seen him,” East coach Paul Babcock said. “They got some timely baserunning and hitting, their pitcher did a great job and we didn’t get timely hits and lost a couple baserunners.
“But this is what you want, to face tough competition. I’m pleased with how well we played.”