Baseball: Zack Thomas, Joliet West edge Andrew
Updated: July 18, 2012 5:24PM
Joliet West junior left-hander Zack Thomas gave his teammates the credit for getting him just enough runs.
But the fact was, Thomas did a good job of supporting himself.
Thomas slashed a two-run single in a five-run fifth inning and singled in the tying run while setting up the winning run in the sixth as the Tigers rallied to overcome Andrew 7-6 Wednesday in the semifinals of the Lockport Regional in the IHSBCA/Phil Lawler Classic summer state baseball tournament at Lockport’s Ed Flink Field.
West (14-10 and the No. 8 seed) will meet Joliet Catholic in Thursday’s noon championship game. A berth in next week’s state tournament at Illnois Benedictine and North Central College is on the line.
“The guys hit the ball,” said Thomas, who had three of West’s seven hits. “We’ve been getting hitting all through the lineup and putting runs on the board.”
Thomas admitted he did not have his best stuff on the mound, but he competed through six innings.
“Zack was erratic but he battled,” West coach John Karczewski said. “Any time you can beat Andrew, it’s a good win. Their [No.] 3-hitter (Dan Durkin) is one of the best, and their 4-hitter (Zach Klockowski) is right behind him.”
Andrew (10-9), the No. 13 seed, reached Thomas in the sixth on Durkin’s RBI single and Kevin Walsh’s go-ahead, two-run double for a 6-5 lead. But the Tigers responded in the bottom of the inning to make a loser of Thunderbolts reliever Andrew Arroyave. Thomas tied the game with a two-out single to right and Larry Holman, who delivered clutch hits in front of Thomas in the fifth (go-ahead two-run single) and sixth (bunt single), scored the game-winner on a wild pitch.
Junior right-hander Alex Stobbe struck out all three in the seventh for the save.
“Stobbe isn’t going to blow anybody away, but he throws strikes and has movement,” Karczewski said.
“It was a back-and-forth game,” Andrew coach Dave DeHaan said. “We had opportunities and didn’t take advantage. We struck out too much (12 times).
“I’m really proud of our guys, though. We played great ball the last week. To beat Lockport and Lincoln-Way East and be right there with these guys, that’s a good sign.”