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updated: 5/2/2012 11:23 PM

Grayslake Central makes its own luck in triumph

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  • Grayslake Central congratulates Kristian Meehan after his 2-run-homer in the second inning during their game against Johnsburg on Wednesday.

       Grayslake Central congratulates Kristian Meehan after his 2-run-homer in the second inning during their game against Johnsburg on Wednesday.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Grayslake Central's Nick Hosford, left, tags out Johnsburg's Danny Kosel after he was caught in a rundown Wednesday at Grayslake Central.

       Grayslake Central's Nick Hosford, left, tags out Johnsburg's Danny Kosel after he was caught in a rundown Wednesday at Grayslake Central.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Grayslake Central's Ryan Fontana fires to first against Johnsburg on Wednesday at Grayslake Central.

       Grayslake Central's Ryan Fontana fires to first against Johnsburg on Wednesday at Grayslake Central.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Grayslake Central coach Troy Whalen gives Kristian Meehan a fist bump as he rounds third after his 2-run-homer against Johnsburg on Wednesday at Grayslake Central.

       Grayslake Central coach Troy Whalen gives Kristian Meehan a fist bump as he rounds third after his 2-run-homer against Johnsburg on Wednesday at Grayslake Central.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Grayslake Central's Jon Gurchak, right, gets a fist bump from coach Troy Whalen after a triple in the second inning against Johnsburg on Wednesday at Grayslake Central.

       Grayslake Central's Jon Gurchak, right, gets a fist bump from coach Troy Whalen after a triple in the second inning against Johnsburg on Wednesday at Grayslake Central.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Grayslake Central's Jon Gurchak runs after a hit against Johnsburg on Wednesday at Grayslake Central.

       Grayslake Central's Jon Gurchak runs after a hit against Johnsburg on Wednesday at Grayslake Central.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Grayslake Central's Jon Gurchak gets ready to connect against Johnsburg on Wednesday at Grayslake Central.

       Grayslake Central's Jon Gurchak gets ready to connect against Johnsburg on Wednesday at Grayslake Central.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

 
 

The quest for No. 13 started off predictably.

Luck didn't seem to be on Grayslake Central's side.

The Rams were going for their 13th consecutive win on Wednesday and found themselves down 4 runs before they could say "superstition." Visiting Johnsburg put up 4 runs on 4 hits in the in the top of the first inning.

But what was also predictable for the Rams was getting down early in the first place. They've done that frequently this season.

They've also frequently come from behind to win many of those games, and the Johnsburg game was no exception.

The Rams coolly and quickly put their 4-run deficit in the rearview mirror and scored 11 runs over the first three innings en route to a 14-5 victory over Johnsburg.

Grayslake Central improves to 19-5 overall and is in the driver's seat in the race for a Fox Valley Conference divisional title with a 12-1 league record.

"We weren't worried at all," Grayslake Central senior left fielder Jon Gurchak said about the early deficit. "Right now we have a lot of team chemistry going. A lot of guys are getting opportunities and they're contributing. That's been a big part of our success."

"I guess 13 is our lucky number," Grayslake Central senior catcher Kristian Meehan added with a smile.

Gurchak and Meehan have been making their own luck lately, racking up the hits and RBI like crazy. Gurchak smacked 2 home runs and finished with an astounding 10 RBI in a win on Monday while Meehan had a 6-RBI game last week.

Against Johnsburg, Meehan immediately cut the Rams' deficit in half by crushing a 2-run homer in the bottom of the first inning. He also drove in a run with a double later in the game.

Meanwhile, Gurchak drove in another 5 runs, including 3 on a double in the second inning.

"That team can hit and they can score a lot of runs," said Johnsburg coach Dan Giesey, whose team drops to 11-13 overall and 3-8 in the Fox Valley. "Grayslake Central is leading (the Fox Valley) for a reason. They put the ball in play all the time. They make great contact. Literally, one through nine, everyone in their lineup is a sure contact kid. The guys who hit for power are surrounded by guys who are going to put the ball in play with runners on and they're a good situational hitting team as well.

"We were pretty relaxed when we got the big early lead, but they came right back and that's what a team that can hit like that can do."

Second baseman Joe Kass got one of his team-leading 3 hits in that big first inning for Johnsburg. But after stringing together those 4 first-inning hits, the Skyhawks managed just 4 hits for the rest of the game.

Meanwhile, Grayslake Central finished with 13 hits on the game to give plenty of support to winning pitcher Kevin Peloza (2-0).

Not only did Meehan and Gurchak each have 2 hits for the Rams, so did Nick Hosford and Freddie Landers.

"The game didn't start very lucky for us and that's what keeps happening," Grayslake Central coach Troy Whalen said. "We need to get a better start out of the gate. But Kevin Peloza did a great job and when you score in every inning but one, you expect to win most of those games."

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