Baseball: St Laurence deals Mount Carmel first defeat
Updated: April 28, 2012 9:46PM
If St. Laurence was to be successful in its Catholic League Blue rematch against No. 1 Mount Carmel on Saturday, coach Pete Lotus felt that his team first needed to forget about the lopsided loss the No. 2 Vikings suffered to the Caravan three days earlier.
‘‘We talked about putting that game behind us after practice on Thursday,’’ Lotus said. ‘‘We know we’re a better team than what we showed in that game. It was important for us to let it go so we could prepare and be ready for them [Mount Carmel] today.’’
Pitcher Kevin Smith came well prepared for St. Laurence as the Creighton recruit tossed a three-hit shutout to help the Vikings edge the Caravan 1-0.
Smith fanned seven batters and took a no-hitter into the fifth inning before Mount Carmel catcher Dan Pappas led off with a single.
“I had all four of my pitches working for me today and I was getting my curveball over for strikes,’’ Smith said. ‘‘To beat Mount Carmel means everything to this team.’’
Smith outdueled T.J. Laurisch, who went six innings for the Caravan (23-1, 9-1), giving up five hits and striking out six. Laurisch gave up the only run of the game after Dan Cronin’s groundout allowed Zach Lewis (1-for-2) to score from third in the bottom of the second.
“What Kevin did out there was special today,’’ Lotus said. “We knew we needed a good pitching performance and he went out there and battled for us.’’
The Caravan had an opportunity to score in the fifth after St. Laurence (22-2-1, 9-1) committed two errors to force a bases loaded situation, but Smith struck out Laurisch to end the inning. The Vikings’ defense came through for Smith in the top of the seventh when Nick Altobella caught a line drive hit by Mount Carmel pinch-hitter Brent Novosel, and threw a rope to first to double-up Justin Gonzalez and end the game.
‘‘We all trust each other and everyone picks each other up if something doesn’t go right,’’ Smith said. ‘’This team is one big family.’’