Three of the top four hitters in Plainfield East’s lineup had quite a day on Thursday.
Jovany Urbieta had a career.
Urbieta’s monster performance powered the Bengals’ baseball team to a 12-6 victory over Benet in the IHSBCA Glenbard South regional final in Glen Ellyn.
Plainfield East advances to next week’s Elite Eight of the Phil Lawler Summer Classic. Defending Classic champion Lyons Twp. awaits at 12:30 p.m. Monday in the opening round at North Central College in Naperville.
“Being that it’s my job to spark up the team, I just wanted to start the whole thing,” Urbieta said of the offensive explosion. “I was just taking it one pitch at a time. I saw the ball well and I hit it.”
He hit it hard. Many times.
Urbieta went 4-for-4 with 2 home runs, 2 runs scored and 6 RBI batting in the three hole. Combined with Jeremy Dutton, Steve Dunlap and Mike McGee, the Bengals’ top four hitters went 9-for-17 with 3 homers, 10 RBI and 8 runs scored.
After Benet scored 4 runs in the bottom of the third to take a 4-2 lead, Plainfield East grabbed control for good with a 5-run fourth. The Bengals added 4 runs in the fifth to extend the margin to 11-4.
“Their lineup was potent today,” said Benet coach Scott Lawler. “A hot day like today at the end of a long week, you’ve got to make plays and you’ve got to score more runs. You give them an extra base here and there, and all of a sudden you’re in trouble.”
Benet, which fell behind 2-0 in the top of the first, put its first five batters on base in the third. Run-scoring singles by starting pitcher Chris Whelan and Jason Blohm preceded a 2-run error from the Bengals.
The Redwings’ 4-2 lead quickly disappeared as Benet tried four different pitchers to put out the fire. Blohm’s solo homer in the fifth inning narrowed the gap to 11-5, but Dutton’s RBI single gave the Bengals the run right back in the sixth.
By scoring 27 runs in the last two games of the Glenbard South regional, Plainfield East’s offense — especially Urbieta — will be a focal point in next week’s Lawler Classic Elite Eight.
“We’ve been executing and putting pressure on people,” said Bengals coach Adam O’Reel. “It creates our inning, and then we’ve been getting that big hit.”
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