Baseball: Matt Robare lifts Lyons over Oak Park-River Forest
Updated: May 11, 2012 7:28PM
In a battle between ace pitchers, it was Lyons’ Matt Robare who outdueled Oak Park-River Forest’s Zach Weigel.
The pitchers entered the game with one combined loss, but Robare proved to be unbeatable as Lyons increased its lead in the West Suburban Silver to three games in the loss column with a 4-2 victory Friday in Western Springs.
Robare (7-1) allowed only four hits and one earned run while striking out three and walking three. He threw 63 of his 100 pitches for strikes and threw five shutout innings to begin the game. The most pitches he threw in an inning were 18 in both the fourth and seventh innings.
“I feel really good,” Robare said. “I established my changeup early. That kept them off the balance and complements by fastball better. [Catcher] Brad Taylor called a great game.”
It was a reversal of fortune for Weigel (5-1), a left-hander slated to play outfield at Seton Hall next season. Weigel entered the game coming off his first career no-hitter May 5 against Downers Grove North and did not allow a hit for 13 2/3 innings before taking the mound.
But Mike Lorenz earned the first of Lyons’ four hits off Weigel in the second inning, which led to three Lyons runs. Lorenz singled and stole second and would score on Stewart Nelson’s two-run single in the inning. Evan Booth later scored on Keith Lehmann’s RBI double to give Lyons a 4-0 lead. Booth also scored in the first on an OPRF throwing error.
Weigel pitched two innings for his shortest outing of his two-year career as pitcher. He allowed four hits, four runs (one earned), two walks and struck out two. He threw only 47 pitches.
“We didn’t have a great start,” OPRF coach Chris Ledbetter said. “Zach did not have a great start. We pulled him and he felt his arm was a little dead.”
Lyons (17-9-1, 11-3) increased its lead over third-place OPRF (20-7-1, 9-6). Lyons travels to conference co-leader York at 10 a.m. Saturday for a doubleheader and the teams play again Tuesday in Western Springs. Lyons will make up a game at home Monday against Hinsdale Central.
Lyons won two games in the three-game series against the Huskies after previously scheduled games April 28 and May 1 were rained out.
OPRF’s Purdue-bound catcher, Jack Picchiotti, was ejected in the top of the seventh for ripping his helmet off and making a comment on a close play at first. The groundout allowed Sam Cottingham-Beard to score the game’s final run. The Huskies had the tying run at second base with two outs in the seventh, but Alex Rice grounded out to end the game.
Lyons committed three errors in the game, but only the last one led to OPRF’s first run of the game in the sixth on Matt McCormack’s RBI fielder’s choice.
“York is big. Hopefully, we’ve got momentum,” Lyons coach George Ushela said. “Hopefully, we’re excited. We’ve got [Alex] Vannucci, [Keith] Lehmann and [Tom] Prescott to pitch.”