Hilltoppers, Wills gain split at St. Viator to clinch ESCC tie

For the sixth consecutive outing, Joliet Catholic Academy RHP Brenden Wills (6-2), pitched the East Suburban Catholic Conference-leading Hilltoppers, to victory on Saturday. JCA (19-11,1, 14-2), romped past St. Viator, 10-0 in the second game of their ESCC doubleheader, at St. Viator.
After being shutout 3-0, on three-hits, by St. Viator’s University of Notre-bound Cole Kmet (5-3), the Hilltoppers scored two in the first and second and then put the game away with a six-run fourth and rolled to a 10-0 five inning victory. With the win the Hilltoppers clinch a tie for the ESCC title. They can win the title outright on Monday at Nazareth or if Carmel (16-7,11-4) loses at St. Viator (17-12, 8-8), also on Monday.
“We bounced back well after being shutdown by Kmet in the first game,” Wills said. “I pitched well and I really enjoy pitching to my catcher Jack Surin. It feels good to have clinched a tie for the ESCC title. We want to win it on Monday.” Wills fired a three-hitter at the Lions with five strikeouts. Simon Grashoff had a pair of RBI singles for the
“It was felt good to hit in the DH spot in game two,” Grashoff said. “We jumped on them early and Brenden pitched well for us. We not only want to win the ESCC but make a run at a 3A state championship.”
Louisville-bound Mike O’Brien, singled, doubled, stole three bases, drove home a run and scored three times for JCA. Other than that the future Cardinal didn’t do much.
“After getting shutdown in game one by Kmet, we really hit well, in game two” O’Brien said. “I really hit the ball hard and had a good day on the bases. We want wrap up this conference title and move on.”
Sophomore Greg Ziegler, doubled home two runs while freshman Chris Knapczyk, had two singles in the Hilltopper six-run fourth. Jared Cushing chipped in with a RBI double.

Minooka 2, Joliet West 0
The Indians (19-9, 11-4) stayed within a game of Southwest Prairie Conference leader Plainfield South (21-7-1, 12-3),with the win. Devin Smith stuck out four and allowed just three hits in his game-winning 6 1/3 innings on the mound for Minooka. Greg Olson had two hits while Logan O’Brien and Deston Martin, drove home the two Indian runs. Joliet West (6-20-2, 3-12) was led Adam Scharf and Dylan Suca.

Plainfield South 9, Lincoln-Way East 8
Well once again, on Saturday, Cougar Nation was partying on Caton Farm Road. In a nonconference game at South, in the bottom of the seventh, of an 8-8 game, Trey Stewart stepped to the plate. After Stewart’s blast went over the centerfield fence, giving the Cougars the 9-8 nonconference win, a post-game Caton Farm Road celebration began. Stewart drove home three runs and Missouri-bound Konnor Ash, drove home a pair of Cougar runs.

Benet Academy sweeps past Marian Central Catholic
The Redwings (20-10, 8-6), won for the 20th time this season, in the second game of their East Suburban Catholic doubleheader, with MCC, on Saturday. Greg Ahern and Tony Adams, combined on a three-hitter, in a 2-1 game one victory. Ahern allowed a run in his five innings to pick up the win. Adams fired two scoreless innings, to nail down the save. Mike Dunn drove home the Redwing game-winner.
In game two, Steve Arrowsmith, allowed a run in four innings, to pick up the win on the mound. Dunn drove home two more runs for the Redwings and Marty Dosen, chipped in with an RBI.

Notre Dame 2-7, Nazareth 3-5
After falling 3-2 in their East Suburban Catholic twin-bill opener, the Dons (12-18-1,5-13) opened up a 7-0 lead and hung on to a 7-5 second game win, over Nazareth. Aidan French led the game two Don attack, with three RBIs . Jackson Kaplowitz had three more hits for ND.

Niles West 5 Maine East 3|
The Wolves ended their six-game skid, with the Central Suburban crossover win, behind Diego Garcia and Johnny Pabst. Garcia allowed one run in his four solid innings on the mound, to pick up the win and Pabst drove home two Wolf runs. Jack Lochner and Bryan Maldanado, also drove home runs for West (14-11, 7-7).

Lockport 11, Elk Grove 1 (5 innings)
The Southwest Suburban Blue leaders, pounded Elk Grove in five innings at Ed Flink. Ryne Travis, pounded a pair of doubles and drove home four Porter runs. Nick Strysik had an RBI single while DJ Studniarz doubled home a pair. Kevin Davis, allowed one hit in his three scoreless innings, to pick up the win on the mound.

Downers Grove North 8, Leyden 7
Red-hot Tyler Rosen, had two more hits and drove home three more Trojan (18-13) runs, as DGN edged Leyden in a West Suburban Conference crossover game. Jeremy Delvalle picked up the win on the mound and had three hits at the plate.

Plainfield East 14, Stillman Valley 7
The Bengals (18-13) routed Stillman Valley in a nonconference game on Saturday at East. Jake Havis drove home three Bengal runs while Frank Bryan added a pair. Jake Knoebel, chipped in with three hits for East.

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