Baseball: St Laurence pounds out 13 hits, sails into semifinalsChris Stearns scores for St. Laurence as Ben Dobosenski, of Montini, is unable to hold onto the ball for the state summer tournament, Wednesday, July 25th, 2012 in Lisle, IL. | Gary Middendorf~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 25, 2012 7:22PM
The temperature may have hovered around 100 degrees during Wednesday’s Phil Lawler Summer Classic quarterfinal between St. Laurence and Montini.
The Vikings’ bats, however, were arguably even hotter.
St. Laurence pounded out 13 hits, with every starter reaching base at least once, during a 13-3, six-inning win over Montini at Benedictine University.
St. Laurence (19-2) advances to Thursday’s semifinals, where it will play either Joliet Catholic or Maine South at 10 a.m. at Benedectine. The winner advances to the 7 p.m. championship.
“I thought, one through nine, we did a great job swinging the bats,” St. Laurence coach Pete Lotus said. “Any time you score 13 runs, it looks pretty good with Zach (Lewis) on the mound.”
Lewis went the distance for the Vikings, scattering six hits, walking two and striking out seven during a 96-pitch performance.
“Not too many guys can turn his fastball around in this state,” Lotus said. “He did a nice job keeping them off balance.”
St. Laurence grabbed a 7-0 lead through three innings.
After Kevin White’s run-scoring grounder in the second inning gave the Vikings a 1-0 lead, St. Laurence erupted for six runs in the third.
The Vikings sent 10 batters to the plate in the inning, piling up six hits and chasing Montini starter Ben Dobosenski, the first of five Broncos pitchers.
Brad Wood’s lead-off walk ignited the rally. From there, the floodgates opened. Kyle Estand highlighted the uprising with a two-run single. Chris Stearns stroked an RBI double, while Mike Kornacker, Kevin White and T.J. Marik all added run-scoring singles.
“This is awesome,” Estand said. “It’s the most fun time of the summer.”
Montini (17-11) cut the deficit to 7-3 entering the bottom of the fifth. The Vikings, however, put the game away with four runs in their half of the frame.
Estand had the big hit, a two-run single that scored Roger Wilson (single) and Nate Tholl (single). White and Stearns added RBI singles in the inning.
“When we put four on the board after they cut it to 7-3, that was big,” Lotus said. “Kevin White had a couple of big hits and Estand did a great job.”
Lewis came out humming, retiring the side in the first inning on eight pitches — all fastballs, and striking out two.