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Article posted: 5/12/2012 8:00 PM

Baseball/Scouting the Class 2A Richmond-Burton regional

By Jerry Fitzpatrick

Class 2A Richmond Burton regional

Matchups: Game 1: No. 5 Harvard at No. 4 Wheaton Academy, Monday at 4:30 p.m.; Game 2: No. 6 North Boone at No. St. Edward (17-16), Monday at 4:30 p.m.; Game 3: No. 1 Richmond-Burton (21-8) vs. Winner Game 1, Wednesday at 4 p.m.; Game 4: No. 2 Westminster Christian (18-11) vs. Winner Game 2, Thursday at 4 p.m.; Regional title: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5, Saturday at 11 a.m.

Outlook: If St. Edward defeats North Boone in Monday's play-in game, it would set up a regional semifinal against Westminster Christian on Thursday. The Elgin private schools met last year in a regional final, in which former Westminster pitcher Kevin Elder topped St. Edward and pitcher Luke Duffy 2-0 for the title. More recently, St. Edward defeated the Warriors 4-3 on Thursday at Trout Park to achieve the team goal of finishing the regular season above .500. "It'd be a tough game, that's for sure," Westminster coach Jeff Moeller said of a possible St. Edward rematch. "They're a good team. They've seen good competition all year and they're solid." St. Edward and Westminster Christian each boast solid starting pitching. The Green Wave staff is led by freshman Jake LaFrenz (5-2, 44 K, 15 BB, 0 91 ERA, 46.1 IP) and junior Jake Koehring (6-3, 49 K, 18 BB, 1.50 ERA, 56 IP). Westminster counters with senior Ryan Perez (7-1, 0.95 ERA, 59 IP), who already owns one state championship ring, and junior Clay DeHaan (5-5, 46 K, 29 BB, 3.76 ERA, 44.2 IP1). Perez did not face St. Edward Thursday. "I would assume we'd face him if we get to Thursday," St. Edward coach Tim Dovichi said. "We'll get a good pitcher no matter what. I think we have the better offense. With Jacob probably on the mound that day, he's been holding every offense to less than 2 runs a game. I think 1 run could win it." Leading hitters for the Green Wave include leadoff man Michael Castoro (.333), sophomore Tighe Koehring (.394, 15 doubles, 26 RBI), senior Luke Duffy (.310) and Jake Koehring (.417, 11 doubles, 25 RBI). Entering Saturday's doubleheader sweep of Rockford Christian Life, Westminster's top hitters were senior Dylan Scully (.424, 8 doubles, 16 RBI) and Perez (.347, 9 doubles, 22 RBI). The Wave must first get past North Boone, a team they beat 5-4 on April 21. "No matter what happens Monday we can't finish under .500, which is nice," Dovichi said. Host Richmond-Burton shared the Big Northern East regular-season title with Burlington Central. The Rockets were a Class 3A school last year when they were knocked out in a sectional final by St. Francis, 6-2.

Advancement: The winner of the R-B regional advances to the Morrison sectional to play the winner of the West Carroll regional on Wednesday, May 23. The top two seeds at West Carroll are No. 1 Morrison and No. 2 Riverdale. Rock Falls and Winnebago are the top seeds in regionals on the other side of the bracket.

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