Wilk, Downers North stop LyonsDowners Grove North faced off against Lyons Township in the Illinois High School Coach's Association Summer Baseball League at Lyons Township Monday. Lyons Township's Thomas Prescott delivers the pitch to the Downers Grove North batter. | Curtis Lehmkuhl~Sun-Times Media
Monday’s batting order for Lyons didn’t look much like the order in the Class 4A state championship June 11.
Only one holdover, infielder Steve Heilenbach, batted in the state final and was in Lyons’ lineup for a summer league game against West Suburban Silver rival Downers North at Lyons.
Downers North won 7-4 behind the pitching of senior right-hander David Wilk, who struck out 11 batters and allowed one walk for the complete-game victory. Lyons managed only eight hits off Wilk, who pitched in his first summer league game after injuring his right ankle last weekend in a basketball pic-up game with friends.
“I shouldn’t have done it and I hurt my ankle,” Wilk said.
Wilk, who missed last year’s football season to concentrate on baseball, has returned to the gridiron for summer workouts in football. He has been playing defensive end and tight end, but will not play in the first West Suburban 7-on-7 passing tournament Tuesday and Thursday in Addison Trail.
Wilk doubled twice off Lyons pitcher Tom Prescott. His double to left field in the first inning drove in the game’s first run. The Trojans scored four runs in the fifth inning, keyed by a two-run double by Connor Kopac.
Brad Taylor was Monday’s only other returning summer league player who was on the field when first baseman Brian Rodemoyer caught a pop fly to end the state championship game. Taylor didn’t bat in the game, but was the catcher for winning pitcher Connor Cuff. Ethan Booth, who batted seventh and scored a run against Downers North, appeared as a pinch-runner in the sixth inning of the state championship game.
Against Downers North, Taylor batted cleanup and was the only other Lyons player to have more than one hit off Wilk by going 3-for-3 with a leadoff double in the second inning. A pinch-runner scored for Taylor to tie the game at 1-1.
“I remember after [the Rodemoyer] catch, everyone running after Connor Cuff. We all mauled him,” Taylor said.
The magic from the state championship victory hasn’t ended for Taylor. Taylor was among Lyons teammates Sunday signing autographs for players from La Grange Little League. Taylor remembered standing in line as a member of La Grange Little League while waiting to acquire the autograph from 2003 state champ Dan Brewer, who is currently on the disabled list for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre in the Yankees organization.
“It was amazing. There were plenty of kids everywhere you turned,” Taylor said.
With a revamped lineup, there are plenty of new faces in old Lyons uniforms early in the summer league season.
“I think with the seniors gone, we miss a lot of them,” Taylor said. “We have to stay focused and get the chemistry back with each other. It’s going good. You see a lot of good talent with the younger kids. We’ll be ready for the [summer league] playoffs.”