Lyons’ finesse stifles CaravanLyons celebrates after defeating Mount Carmel. | Rob Hart~Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 10, 2011 10:38PM
Finesse went up against power Friday night in the Class 4A state baseball semifinals at Silver Cross Field in Joliet and finesse won.
Lyons senior Zach Remijas shut out Mount Carmel’s homer-heavy lineup for six innings as the Lions won 4-1 to earn a date with another Catholic League Blue power, Providence, in Saturday’s title game.
Remijas, who gave way to sophomore Keith Lehmann after walking Caravan leadoff hitter Chris Sujka to open the seventh, gave up five hits and three walks.
The righty had just three strikeouts, but made them count. He whiffed No. 3 hitter Jeff Boehm with runners at first and third in the third inning before retiring Sam Kint on a liner to second, and fanned Jason Gasser with two on and two out to end the fourth.
“I’m not really a power pitcher,” said Remijas, who is 11-0 with an 0.66 ERA. “I just focus on getting groundballs for our infielders to get the outs and we have a good outfield (also).”
“There were a lot of good balls hit both ways,” Lyons coach George Ushela said. “Two lineouts on their part – which were big – to end innings. We had guys positioned well (in the field) and Zach got it done on the mound.”
Mount Carmel (34-8-1) hadn’t scored fewer than two runs in a game this season and has slugged 46 homers, including 12 each by Sujka and Kint. But Silver Cross’ generous dimensions (330 feet, 400 and 327 in left, center and right), a wind blowing in and Remijas’ pitching proved to be a triple whammy.
“He hit his spots very well,” Boehm said. “If you were looking for his fastball, he beat you with his curveball. If you were looking for his curveball, he beat you with his fastball.”
Remijas used a curve to get Boehm in the third. “I think I might have thrown him off a little bit,” Remijas said. “I (threw) a 12-to-6 curveball; usually mine slides a little more.”
The Caravan had yet another scoring opportunity in the fifth, but Remijas got T.J. Laurisch to ground out with runners at second and third with two out. Mount Carmel was hitless in its first nine at-bats with runners in scoring position before Kint’s two-out RBI single in the seventh off Lehmann scored Sujka and broke up the shutout.
Lyons (36-4) didn’t do much more offensively against Mount Carmel righty John Kravetz (11-4), who threw a seven-hitter with no walks and one strikeout.
But the Lions staked Remijas to a 2-0 lead in the first and didn’t need any more. Spencer Mahoney led off with a single and went to third on Steve Heilenbach’s double. Brian Rodemoyer’s grounder drove in Mahoney and Rodemoyer (2-for-3) reached on second baseman Beau Filkins’ error. After Kravetz got Tom Walsh on a popout, Connor Cuff hit a sacrifice fly to score Heilenbach.
It stayed 2-0 till the bottom of the sixth, when Lehmann tripled home Rodemoyer and Mike Pett followed with an RBI single.
Tom Hayes was 2-for-3 for Mount Carmel.