CHICAGO | Like he has so many times before, Mount Carmel’s T.J. Laurisch proved to be a difference maker Saturday with both his bat and his arm.
On the mound, Laurisch threw a complete-game shutout, allowing just three hits in a 6-0 win over Oak Lawn, giving Mt. Carmel its 11th consecutive regional championship.
“It was definitely location,” Laurisch said. “I worked inside-outside on hitters. I can locate my slider pretty well. I threw that a couple times on a (full count). I can just throw strikes, let them hit it and know my defense is going to be there behind me.”
The Harvard recruit then went 3-for-4 as a hitter, adding three RBIs, which included a two-run single in the fourth inning that gave the Caravan (31-4) a 5-0 lead.
“I’ve been seeing (the ball) pretty well lately,” Laurisch said. “I just put it in play, found the gaps and came up in big situations.”
Mount Carmel coach Brian Hurry realized Laurisch was a huge reason why the Caravan now advance to play St. Rita at 4:30 p.m.Thursday in one semifinal of the Mount Carmel Sectional.
“I thought T.J. was outstanding and we played good defense behind him,” Hurry said. “It was a good combination of our pitcher throwing strikes and our defense working well.”
The Caravan took advantage of four Oak Lawn errors, including two in the third inning which helped lead to three runs.
All but one offensive starter reached base at least once for Mount Carmel, and Hurry knows that will be instrumental as the state tournament continues and the Caravan continue playing tougher teams.
“We’re going to need that,” Hurry said. “Our offense cannot rely on one person on any given day. Everyone needs to chip in, one through nine.”