CHICAGO | As the saying goes, if it ain't broke don't fix it.
In an 8-5 victory over St. Rita Friday evening, Mount Carmel continued to do what has worked all season for the Caravan. Mount Carmel played small ball and came up with timely hitting to advance to today's 4A Mount Carmel Sectional championship game. Jerry Houston was 2 for 3 with two RBIs and two runs scored for the Caravan.
"What we have to do to be successful, it don't change," Houston said. "We have to forget about today and get ready to play tomorrow."
Houston started the scoring for the Caravan when he reached on a leadoff walk to start the bottom of the first. Houston came around to score later in the inning on a Tom Hayes RBI single.
The Caravan added four more runs in the second, highlighted by a Houston two RBI double, and added one more in the third to take a 6-3 lead into the fourth.
"Once it looked like it was a strike, I just had to defend the plate," Houston said of the RBI double. "It just so happened to find a gap."
St. Rita came back with two runs in the top of the fifth off of Caravan started Jeremy Kravetz. Kravetz had a nice day on the mound for Mount Carmel and his only problem in the lineup was St. Rita's Rick Faron who was 3 for 3 against Kravetz with two homeruns and four RBIs.
"Kravetz battled," Caravan coach Brian Hurry said. "He pretty much did a good job against their lineup. He left a couple balls up to Faron, but other than that he had a great ball game and he gave us a chance to win against a very good ball club."
Today's potential starter for the Caravan, Tyler Laurisch, came on to pitch the sixth and seventh innings for the Caravan and allowed no hits while striking out two in two innings. Mount Carmel catcher Dan Pappas had a good day at the plate, going 2 for 3 with two runs scored.
Hurry said the coaches will have to meet and decide who will take the mound in today's sectional championship.
"You really have to fight against even thinking about the next day," Hurry said of the pitching situation. "Now that the game is over, fine. Now some other guy has got to step up. We've got Gasser and Dodson and we have to meet as a staff and figure which way we want to go."
The Caravan will face Lyons in the sectional finals today at 11 a.m.