Prep baseball

Illiana baseball goes out on a positive note

2014-06-05T20:00:00Z 2014-06-05T23:50:09Z Illiana baseball goes out on a positive notePhil Arvia Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
June 05, 2014 8:00 pm  • 

NEW LENOX | There weren't a lot of frowns in Illiana Christian's post-game huddle Thursday, after the Vikings' season was ended in a with a 7-1 loss to Lemont in the Class 3A Lincoln-Way West Sectional semifinals.

There were more than a few smiles – from coaches proud of their players, from seniors comfortable with their legacy, from underclassmen who seemed thrilled to get a glimpse of what their potential might be.

"A lot of people didn't expect us to be the greatest team this year," senior pitcher Caleb Jonkman said. "And talent-wise, we weren't Lemont, obviously. But we did a lot of little things right. … That's what got us to our school's first regional championship since 2009."

Along the way, the Vikings (18-16) also won the Metro Suburban Conference title, getting to 14-4 in the league while going 0-11 in nonconference games. The regional title came after a play-in win and two upsets.

"What we accomplished, they should be proud of," Illiana coach Dan Gibson said. "We struggled a little bit, then to win a conference championship, and a regional championship …

"We just didn't play our best game today. We looked a little tight — and Lemont is just a really good team."

The Indians (31-5) advanced to Saturday's 11 a.m. sectional title game behind a combined two-hitter from Charlie Wright (6-1) and Garrett Acton. Jonkman took the loss, but he had one of the two base hits, while fellow senior Kyle Van Kalker had the other.

Louisiana State-bound catcher, Mike Papierski, walked and scored in the first inning, had an RBI double in the third and singled and scored in the sixth to highlight Lemont's 11-hit attack. The Indians also capitalized on five Illiana errors, and made Jonkman throw a lot of pitches.

"That's something I talked to the guys about," Gibson said. "All their hitters go deep in the count. Hopefully, we learned something."

From the sound of it, sophomore right fielder Jack Hillegonds did.

"Every time I looked at the scoreboard, it was a 3-2 count," he said. "It shows we have a lot of work we've got to do in the offseason."

Illiana's seniors – Jonkman, Van Kalker, Brett Detmar, Tony Dykstra, Christian Cody Koehler, Lucas Miedema, Mark Pals and Joe Skrbina – are moving on to different pursuits. Only Van Kalker plans to play in college, at Trinity Christian.

But they will look back fondly.

"We all walk out knowing we did something special," Jonkman said. "With conference and regional championships, we set a high bar for the guys behind us to reach for."

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Follow The Times

Fan Poll

Loading…

Which local prep soccer semistate qualifier will most likely reach state?

View Results

Follow your school

Duneland Conference

Chesterton Trojans
News
Crown Point Bulldogs
News
Lake Central Indians
News
LaPorte Slicers
News
Merrillville Pirates
News
Michigan City Wolves
News
Portage Indians
News
Valparaiso Vikings
News

Greater South Shore Conference

Bishop Noll Warriors
News
Calumet Warriors
News
Lake Station Eagles
News
Michigan City Marquette Blazers
News
North Newton Spartans
News
River Forest Ingots
News
Wheeler Bearcats
News
Whiting Oilers
News

Great Lakes Athletic Conference

Clark Pioneers
News
Gavit Gladiators
News
Hammond Wildcats
News
Morton Governors
News

Hoosier Conference

Rensselaer Bombers
News

Northwest Crossroads Conference

Andrean 59ers
News
Griffith Panthers
News
Highland Trojans
News
Hobart Brickies
News
Kankakee Valley Kougars
News
Lowell Red Devils
News
Munster Mustangs
News

Northwestern Conference

Lew Wallace Hornets
News
Roosevelt Panthers
News
West Side Cougars
News

Porter County Conference

Boone Grove Wolves
News
Hanover Central Wildcats
News
Hebron Hawks
News
Kouts Mustangs/Fillies
News
LaCrosse Tigers
News
Morgan Twp. Cherokees
News
South Central Satellites
News
Washington Twp. Senators
News
Westville Blackhawks
News

Independents

Bowman Academy Eagles
News
Calumet Christian
News
Campagna Academy
News
Covenant Christian Knights
News
E.C. Central Cardinals
News
Hammond Baptist Swordsman
News
Luther East Eagles
News

Chicago Catholic League

Mt. Carmel Caravan
News
Seton Academy Sting
News
St. Francis deSales Pioneers
News

Chicago Public League

Washington Minutemen/Minutewomen
News

East Suburban Catholic

Marian Catholic Spartans
News

Metro Suburban

Illiana Christian Vikings
News

River Valley Conference

Beecher Bobcats/Ladycats
News
Illinios Lutheran Chargers
News

South Suburban Blue

T.F. North Meteors
News
T.F. South Rebels
News

Southland Athletic Conference

Bloom Twp. Blazin' Trojans
News
Crete-Monee Warriors
News

SouthWest Suburban Blue

Homewood-Flossmoor Vikings
News

SouthWest Suburban Red

Thornridge Falcons
News
Thornton Wildcats
News
Thornwood Thunderbirds
News