Baseball: Jacobs falls to Lyons in extras

Story Image Jacobs Kenny Finn, gets the ball too late to tag Lyons runner Stewart Nelson during their semi-final game at Benedictine University in Lisle on Thursday, July 26, 2012. Lyons would go on to win 5-4 in the 8th inning. | Brian Powers~Sun-Times Media
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Updated: July 26, 2012 5:53PM

With his offense struggling to string together hits much less score runs, Jacobs coach Jamie Murray knew he could count on his team to eventually break through.

Falling behind early by four runs to Lyons at Thursday’s Illinois High School Baseball Coaches Association Phil Lawler Classic semifinal at Benedictine University in Lisle, the Golden Eagles did come back — forcing extra innings where they ultimately fell 5-4 in eight innings to close out the summer season.

“We talked about being resilient all year,” Murray said. “I think there were some nerves playing a program in Lyons that is one of the best in the state. I was proud of the guys coming back and tying things up. We battled.”

Jacobs finishes the summer with a 25-4-1 overall record. Against Lyons in the semifinal game, the offense was only able to muster three hits but was able to draw five walks and capitalize on three Lions errors.

Having put together a four-run comeback though, the Golden Eagles saw Lyons string together a double, single and intentional walk to start off the bottom of the eighth. Lyons’ second baseman Sam Cybulski’s opposite field single brought home the winning run.

Lyons plays Joliet Catholic, 7-4 winners over St. Laurence, for the summer state title.

Jumping to an early lead, Lyons scored one run each in the first and second innings and two more in the fourth. Jacobs finally connected offensively starting in the fifth with Grant Kale scoring on a Jordan Siegel bunt single. Tim Mahoney scored two batters later on Matt Hickey’s groundout.

In the sixth, Aaron Meciej came home on a Kale groundout with Kenny Finn tying the game later in the inning on a wild pitch.

The comeback came courtesy of Austin Sickel, who pitched three-plus innings of scoreless relief. The senior surrendered two hits and a walk with one strikeout.

“I knew if we kept it close maybe Lyons gets complacent with their lead, and we’d be able to capitalize,” Sickel said. “We know we can hang with the elite teams so I was just focusing on throwing strikes.”

With a chance to take the lead, Jacobs stranded two runners in the seventh and went down in order in the eighth.

The Golden Eagles made their first summer state appearance since 2007.

“We’ll take this and use it as motivation for next season,” Murray said. “This is what the extra work is all about. We’re trying to prove we can make it to Joliet in 2013. We were down early and battled back.”

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