Prep baseball

St. Rita dashes Mount Carmel hopes for a state title repeat

2014-06-07T19:00:00Z 2014-06-07T23:42:23Z St. Rita dashes Mount Carmel hopes for a state title repeatTim Cronin Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
June 07, 2014 7:00 pm  • 

BURBANK | St. Rita starting pitcher Mike Costanzo was up at 6 on Saturday morning.

Visions of Mount Carmel batters smacking his offerings around Ron Czarnecki Field were cluttering his mind.

“I’ve been lit up all three times I faced them,” Costanzo said. “Two or three weeks ago, they murdered me. I couldn’t eat. And there was no falling back asleep.”

The fourth time was the charm for the senior as he scattered four hits across six innings, then saw Jake Shepski come in from left field after the first batter in the seventh and hang on for St. Rita’s 4-3 victory over Mount Carmel in the Class 4A sectional final at Reavis.

St. Rita (35-4) advances to Monday night’s super-sectional in Crestwood against Downers Grove South (28-8), a 10-1 winner over Plainfield North at Oswego.

Mount Carmel, 31-8 in defense of its 4A championship, went down scrapping. It was down a run and one strike from elimination when Malik Carpenter’s single to center kept things alive in the top of the seventh.

Then Josh Stowers walked to load the bases, but Scott Kapers popped up on a 2-2 pitch to end the attempt at back-to-back titles.

“I knew I had to settle in and get that last out,” Shepski said.

Mount Carmel head coach Brian Hurry was beside himself regarding the home plate umpiring at one stage in the late going, moving halfway to the plate from his station in the third base coach’s box while appearing to give a sign to his batter.

But, as Shepski noted, “It goes both ways -- and that’s what makes the game fun. The one they really got mad about, I thought was a strike. They called the same strike on me.”

Caravan pitcher Marko Boricich was uncommonly wild early, walking the first two St. Rita batters and not throwing a strike until his 10th pitch. He also hit three batters. But what nobody knew was Boricich’s battle with lower back pain for the last three weeks. That he threw at all and managed to get into the seventh inning was remarkable.

“He just gutted it out there, trying to go out there do it,” Hurry said. “He really battled and gave us a chance to win.”

Boricich was staked to a 1-0 lead in the first thanks to Costanzo’s bobble and bad throw on Carpenter’s chopper to the mound. While three Mustangs chased the ball, A.J. Lewis scored from second.

But from that point, Costanzo settled down en route to his 10th victory. Nobody got past first base until the fifth inning.

The final reversed the outcome of last year’s sectional final, when Mount Carmel knocked off St. Rita 5-4.

“They fought from the first pitch to the last,” Hurry said of his players. “That speaks to the heart and character of the guys I coach.”

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

Follow The Times

Fan Poll

Loading…

Who was the area's best baseball player this season?

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

Featured Businesses