Bollman, Griffins zip past Shepard
Updated: May 25, 2011 9:17PM
If Lincoln-Way East can duplicate Wednesday’s performance against Shepard, it could produce an extended postseason run.
Pitcher Brandon Bollman fired a three-hitter and Dan Huizinga and Jake Hickey belted home runs as the No. 9 Griffins eased by the Astros 7-0 in a Shepard Regional semifinal.
East will play the winner of today’s Richards-Reavis semifinal at 11 a.m. Saturday.
“A good ballgame,” East coach Paul Babcock said. “We swung the sticks, did a nice job running the bases, and though I don’t think Brandon was as sharp as he can be, they didn’t score.”
East (22-11) staked Bollman out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning.
The first three batters in the order — Chris Scott (double), Bobby Kosola (single) and Alec Ornelas (walk) — reached to load the bases with no outs.
Huizinga brought them home with one mighty swing of the bat, drilling an 0-and-1 offering from sophomore Nick Medlicott over the left-field fence for a grand slam.
One inning later, Hickey crushed a long drive over the left-center field fence to make it 5-0.
“It was good to see those two shots,” Babcock said. “They were no-doubters.”
The way Bollman (4-0) was mowing down the Astros hitters, there was little doubt the lead would hold up. The junior right-hander escaped minor jams in the first and second inning. After that, he settled in, retiring 11 in a row at one point.
He walked three and struck out six during a nifty 94-pitch performance.
“I felt good,” Bollman said. “I felt like my fastball was overpowering at times. Having the early led allowed me to get comfortable.”
East tacked on two runs in the fifth, compliments of a Shepard throwing error and a sacrifice fly by Zach Jones, in taking a 7-0 lead.
Scott, Kosola, Hickey and Cody Justus all had two hits for East.
“We can go far if we keep playing like that,” Bollman said.
Ramsey Hamdan, Jake Hart and John Dougherty had singles for Shepard (12-21).