Baseball: Libertyville’s fast starts earns share of NSC title with Mundelein

Jumping ahead to a 5-0 lead over Stevenson after one inning made all the difference in the world for host Libertyville Wednesday afternoon.

The Wildcats were able to earn a share of the North Suburban Conference baseball championship with Mundelein.

A 3-run homer in the bottom of the first by Oklahoma State University-bound Quinn Schambow and some strong pitching by Josh Holst with 14 strikeouts carried Libertyville (24-7-1, 12-2) to an 8-1 NSC victory over the Patriots.

Mundelein beat Lake Forest 7-2 to tie for first place in the NSC with a 12-2 record.

Stevenson sophomore starter Drew Clark hit Cole Lockwood with a pitch before Chase Lockwood singled. Then Schambow blasted a 3-run homer to right-center off of the scoreboard for a quick 3-0 lead.

The Wildcats added another run when Steve Strelow reached base on an error later in the inning before an RBI single by Zachary Seiler boosted the lead to 5-0.

"We were trying to attack and get on them early, and we had a great pitcher on the mound with Josh so we felt pretty good all the way around," said Schambow, who has 6 home runs this season.

“We saw the ball well. I think everything is coming together, we're all starting to hit and we're excited for the next two games and the playoffs."

The Patriots (22-10, 10-4) lost to Libertyville 6-2 on Tuesday, and 5 errors were troublesome for the squad on Wednesday as they were outhit 7-5 overall.

Stevenson broke open the shutout in the top of the fourth as Brandon Schultz (3-for-3, 2 doubles) doubled and scored on an RBI double by Frank Costabile to cut the lead to 5-1.

But the Wildcats responded with 3 runs on 3 hits in the bottom of the fifth. Holst and Strelow had RBI singles while another run scored on an error.

"We didn't play very good defense, and timely hitting just didn't seem to be there," said Stevenson coach Nick Skala. "We're prepping for next Wednesday (regionals), and I think we just let the moment get too big for us."

Jackson Merdalo had a double for Stevenson while Chase Lockwood and Schambow scored 2 runs each.

"When you score five to start that's huge. We didn't add on more until the fifth, and Josh (Holst) has been solid for us all year," said Libertyville coach Matt Thompson. "That set the tone for the game (first inning), and when him (Holst) and Quinn get us going we play well."

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