STEGER | Since a 2-1 loss to Beecher on April 7th, Illinois Lutheran has run off six straight wins. And a big part of that winning streak is what is taking place on the Chargers' mound.
On Saturday, Sam Geraci and Grant Farmer helped pitch the Chargers to a championship at the second annual Charger Invitational. Farmer struck out 18 in Illinois Lutheran's 6-0 shutout of Thornridge in their first round game, which is a school record.
In the championship game, Geraci pitched five scoreless innings, allowing two hits while striking out 12 as the Chargers cruised to a 10-0 win over Rich East in five innings.
"Both our pitchers dominated," Illinois Lutheran coach Mark Kjenstad said. "They threw hard. They both had command of their off speed pitches. When they're throwing that well with both their pitches, it's really hard for the other team."
Illinois Lutheran (11-1) put two runs on the board in the bottom of the first, second, and fourth innings against Rich East. Geraci's RBI single in the bottom of the second opened up the Charger lead to 4-0. In the championship game, leadoff hitter Dylan Gould was 1 for 1 with two runs scored for Illinois Lutheran.
"The Beecher loss was something we learned from," Geraci said. "With this streak now, we're really cruising. I think now we're just playing baseball how we were taught to and not really thinking too much."
The Chargers then added four runs in the bottom of the fifth to pick up the 10-0 shutout and tourney win. Illinois Lutheran used four walks in the inning, a hit batsman, and an error, to plate the runs and extend the winning streak to six. Farmer also pitched in from the plate, going 2-for-2 with an RBI against the Rockets.
"It just seemed like a special day to have two pitchers go out and pitch that well," Farmer said. "And we came out and hit great. We came out swinging. It was just a fun day. "
In the third place game, St. Francis de Sales (3-4) defeated Thornridge 5-4. Kemari Simmons was 2-for-3 for St. Francis de Sales, including a 2-run home run in the second inning. Mike Chavez had three singles and 2 RBIs for the Pioneers in the win.