LOCKPORT – Minooka baseball coach Jeff Petrovic has been able to count on pitching and defense this season.
And while the Indians haven’t been scoring a lot of runs, they’ve used timely hitting and aggressive baserunning to take advantages of opportunities that come their way.
That was the story, again, Saturday when Minooka played at Lockport in the finale of an eight-game marathon involving all levels of baseball and softball teams that supported a good cause.
The Strike Out Cancer Day event at Flink Field in Lockport is a fundraiser for the Make Your Mark Foundation, which seeks a cure for pediatric cancer.
So while two traditional area teams met up for bragging rights, the game was about something bigger than just wins and losses.
That’s why Petrovic was pleased to see his team come away with a 5-2 victory over the Porters, while also being a part of the special evening.
“I’ve been here since 11 this morning watching all of the baseball, and it was really fun,” Petrovic said. “It teaches the kids that there’s something bigger than the game and how lucky they are to do this every day. After listening to the sweet girl who sang the national anthem, we realize that we are lucky to be able to play this game.
“Both of our guys threw the ball really well today. Joe Butler is only a sophomore, but he looked like it was another day out there. And then we threw Mitch Vogrin in there at the end. We also played great defense and did the things that we needed to do in order to win today. They gave us some opportunities and we were able to take advantage.”
Joe Butler went the first five innings and only allowed four hits, while striking out five and then Mitch Vogrin recorded five strikeouts and didn’t allow a hit in the final two innings.
The Indians (11-3) went up, 3-2, with a run in the fifth, and then scored a pair without the benefit of a hit in the sixth to pull away from the Porters (7-9).
“We made four errors and you can’t do that against a team like Minooka,” Porters coach Andy Satunas said. “I was proud of our kids since they battled back from being down, 2-0, but the sloppiness showed up again. In one inning, it seemed first and third, and then it was first and third again. Unfortunately, we just had a breakdown.”
The Indians went up for good in the fifth when Brennan Polcyn singled home Neal Tyrell. An inning later, they benefited from a pair of walks and three-hit batters to collect the game’s final runs. Jon Vesper and Kenny Walsh collected those tallies.
Lockport’s Cole Bellair allowed five hits and struck out four in five innings, while reliever Noah Masa recorded three strikeouts and did not give up a hit in two innings.
Minooka went up, 2-0 in the third when Jake Null and Tyler Desmarais came home on errors. But the Porters got a run back in the bottom of that frame when Tyler Hair singled in Lorenzo Blazekovich.
The Porters tied things up in the fourth when Mike Formella singled home Ryan Dalton, but the Indians moved back in front for good in the next at-bat and that proved to be enough run support to assure Butler of his fourth win.
“Even though I didn’t have all of my pitches working, I was able to spot them, and when they hit them in the infield, my teammates made great plays,” Butler said. “My curveball was going into the dirt a lot and my catcher, [Tyler Desmarais], did a great job of blocking things. We were patient at the plate and also had good baserunning.”