BURBANK | For two straight years, Lyons Township ended Mount Carmel's quest for a state title.
Two years ago, the Lions beat the Caravan in a Class 4A semifinal en route to a state title. Last year, Lyons Township beat the Caravan 9-1 to win the Class 4A Mount Carmel Sectional title.
But on Wednesday, Mount Carmel lifted the albatross, battling back from a 2-0 deficit to take the lead for good in the bottom of the fifth inning as it beat Lyons Twp. 5-3 in a semifinal of the Class 4A Reavis Sectional.
Mount Carmel (30-8) will face either St. Rita or St. Laurence at 11 a.m. Saturday for the title.
Mount Carmel coach Brian Hurry pointed out that since 2002, the series is tied 3-3.
With the Caravan trailing 2-1 in the fifth, sophomore and Louisville recruit Josh Stowers put his team up for good with a clutch two-out, two-RBI double to center field.
"I know (Lyons starter) Keith (Lehmann) had good command of his curve ball, so i was looking for it," Stowers said. "He hung one over the plate and I just hit it hard."
Stowers said beating the Lions was also big.
"We know for the seniors, they lost to them two years in a row, so it was big we get the win," Stowers said. "Not only that, this is a sectional game and we want to keep playing."
It was a battle between Mount Carmel's Jeremy Kravetz, a Kansas recruit, and Lehmann, a Michigan recruit. Last year, Lehmann beat the Caravan in the sectional final.
Lyons Township jumped out to a 2-0 lead, but Beau Filkins got one back as he hit a 1-1 pitch over the left-field fence in the third.
"I was just trying to drive it," Filkins said. "It just happened to go over the fence."
Filkins also had a few good plays in the field, which caught the attention of Hurry.
"Beau Filkins played a complete game today," Hurry said. "This was a complete team win. We made some plays in the field and got some clutch hits.
One was a diving catch by center fielder Jason Gasser to kill a potential first-inning rally. Shortstop Jerry Houston caught a line drive off the grass in the seventh.
Dave Dobrinich, who entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the fifth, actually reached base twice and scored the tying run.
Lyons Township added a run in the sixth to make it 3-2, but the Caravan got two insurance runs in the sixth as pinch-runner CJ Pakeltis scored on a wild pitch and Filkins singled in Dobrinich.
Kravetz (6-3) struck out five in throwing a complete game. He said he was not worried when his team fell behind 2-0.
"I knew we would come back and I know we had a few errors, but I had confidence in my teammates."