CALUMET CITY | Marian Catholic pitcher Brett Lilek said his coach Phil Wail challenged him about what kind of legacy did he want to leave with the program.
Lilek responded well Saturday at he struck out 10 and threw a one-hitter to lead the Spartans to a 4-0 win over Illiana Christian in the Class 3A T.F. North Regional final.
"I want to leave the legacy of a regional championship and that of a winner," Lilek said. "I wanted to be one of those who went out a leader."
The regional title is the program's first since 1987 and Wail said Lilek, an Arizona State recruit, did what he was supposed to.
"He doesn't have to throw heat every pitch and today I think Brett pitched worked his spots, got in control of the hitters," Wail said. "We just needed a good, solid performance and we got it."
The Spartans (20-17) face Oak Forest at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday in one semifinal of the Lincoln-Way West Sectional.
Illiana finished 24-12. Jordan Davis' fourth-inning double was the Vikings' lone hit. He said Lilek kept he and his teammates guessing.
"He was in control and didn't throw every pitch fast," Davis said. "When he did come with the heat, it looked that much faster."
It was a pitchers' duel between two southpaws as Illiana's Braden Mulder struck out five and allowed just two earned runs.
Robby Cifelli doubled in the first for Marian, went to third on Pat Swanson's sacrifice bunt, then scored on a sacrifice fly from Brad Bohlen.
Marian added two runs in the fifth and one more in the sixth.
In a season which saw the Spartans struggle at times, Lilek said it was good to have everything come together
"We got some timely hits today and played good defense," Lilek said. "I got a lot of support in the field."