Baseball: Minooka ousts Naperville Central in supersectionalsMinooka High School shortstop Tyler Thorson throws out a Naperville Central hitter during the IHSA baseball Super Sectional Monday, Jun. 4, 2012, at Illinois Field in Champaign, Ill. (Photo by Bradley Leeb)
Updated: June 4, 2012 8:19PM
Buoyed by tallying six runs over the course of two straight innings, Minooka peppered Naperville Central ace Ian Lewandowski throughout en route to pulling away from the Redhawks for a 6-3 victory on Monday in the Class 4A University of Illinois Supersectional.
A little more than six months removed from nearly leading the Naperville Central football program to a berth in the Class 8A state title game in Champaign, the Redhawks’ senior right-hander headed to Champaign looking for redemption.
What he ended up with was just another close call.
Getting through the first two innings without much trouble, Lewandowski began to flirt with danger in the top of the third.
Stranding a pair of runners in the third to keep the game scoreless, Lewandowski wasn’t so fortunate in the next two innings.
The Indians (27-13) put their first two men aboard to start the fourth and Austin Polcyn made sure they capitalized by lining a 3-2 pitch to left to knock home two runs with a two-out double, giving Minooka a 2-0 lead.
After Redhawks’ junior Cody Campbell blasted a Jimenez offering over the right-center field fence with two outs in the fourth to tie the game at 2-2, the Indians immediately answered by getting those two runs back, in addition to a few more.
Sending eight men to the plate in the fifth, the Indians broke the game open by putting four runs up on the board.
Minooka’s Maxwell Brozovich and Joe Carnagio each knocked in runs with doubles that found gaps. Carnagio’s two-run double to right-center boosted the Indians’ lead to 6-2.
“I think we got used to (Lewandowski’s) speed. We got used to his off-speed,” Carnagio said. “We hoped to break out earlier than the fifth inning, but we were hitting the ball hard. We just weren’t those key hits (earlier in the game). In the fifth inning, we had runners in scoring position and a couple players stepped up.”
Carnagio and Polcyn each had two RBI for the Indians, while Tyler Thorson recorded two hits.
The University of Illinois-Chicago-bound Lewandowski (8-2) gave up six runs, four earned, on eight hits in his five innings of work.
“You know, the fourth, I just tried to keep it as low as I could, letting the two runs in,” Lewandowski said. “I messed up on the 3-2 changeup, left it right down the middle for (Polcyn). ... This late in the playoffs, you can’t do things like that.”
Jimenez (11-2), who’s continuing his baseball career at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Ky. in the fall, allowed three runs while scattering seven hits and striking out four in going the entire way.
“Coming in, I honestly thought it was going to be a 1-0, 2-0, 2-1 game,” Jimenez said. “But we came out, we just hit. We hit like crazy. Our bats have been so hot lately.”
Campbell went 2-for-3 with the two-run homer for Naperville Central (27-13), which was looking to get to Joliet for the second time in three years.