Baseball: Libertyville gets even with Mundelein, ties for NSC lead

Libertyville made a 180-degree turn on Mundelein.

After losing 6-3 to Mundelein at home on Monday, Libertyville turned the tables and knocked off host Mundelein 6-3 Tuesday.

The victory moved Libertyville (16-6-1, 8-2) back into a tie with Mundelein (15-6, 8-2) for the lead in the North Suburban Conference.

Libertyville ‘s win was extra crucial for the Wildcats. Stevenson (17-8, 8-2) was also able to keep pace with Libertyville after an 11-1 win over Zion-Benton.

“The three of us are tied,” Libertyville coach Matt Thompson said. “We are excited for the opportunity. We love playing for a chance at the conference title.”

The game splintered into two different directions on similar type of plays in the second inning.

In the top of the frame, Libertyville’s Ryan Wilberding walked and eventually made it to third with one out. Trevor Wallace lofted a fly ball to the outfield. Wilberding tagged and was able to score when the throw from the outfield was a bit offline which forced a slower cutoff throw to the plate.

In the bottom of the inning, Mundelein’s Tyler Przespolewski doubled with one out. After a strikeout, Evan Nierenburg hit a sharp single to left. Johnny Leoris made a perfect throw to cutoff man Cole Lockwood, who fired a perfect strike home to cut down Przespolewski at the plate and preserve the 1-0 lead.

“We definitely made some big plays,” Thompson said. “We emphasize hitting the cutoff man and Johnny Leoris did just that. And they didn’t make that play so that was a run for us.”

Mundelein coach Randy Lerner agreed that the play changed the direction of the game.

“The details of each play were key,” Lerner said. “Plus, there were times when they were able to keep the ball in the infield that also helped them.”

Libertyville doubled their lead the next inning. Quinn Schambow doubled home Lockwood to make it 2-0.

“We lost yesterday (Monday), so we had to come back strong,” said Schambow, who had two hits and two runs scored.

“We knew had to have quality at-bats. I think we did that pretty well and took advantage of our opportunities. Chase (Lockwood) pitched real well like he always does.”

Those two runs gave Chase Lockwood the breathing room he needed. He would only surrender one run in the six innings he pitched. Along with the key out at the plate, he was also the beneficiary of a fine inning-ending double play in the fifth.

“That double play was massive for me,” Chase Lockwood said. “I trust my defense. They are great.”

Mundelein picked up a run when Griffin Troha reached on one of his two hits. Troha, who would also make a terrific play at third later in the game, would them come into score on Erick Fletcher’s single that made it 2-1 after four innings.

Libertyville would then go on to score four runs over the next three innings. Three of those runs were due to Mundelein errors while Wilberding had an RBI sacrifice fly and pinch hitter Harrison Clarkson got an RBI single.

Trailing 6-1 in the bottom of the seventh, Mundelein showed they wouldn’t go away quietly.

The Mustangs loaded the bases with no outs. They were able to push a pair of runs across on a fielder’s choice by Troha and when Przespolewski reached on a error. But that’s as close as they would get.

“Today, our mistakes hurt us,” Lerner said.

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.