Big picture: Thunderclouds cleared up just in time for the Andrean 59ers to win the Steven M. Bajenski Memorial Tournament in Crestwood, Illinois, beating Marist (Illinois) 8-1.
Andrean senior pitcher Matt Lelito, who had only pitched three innings this season, dazzled in a complete-game performance. He recorded five strikeouts, allowed three hits, and held off a seventh-inning rally that gave the Marist its only run of the game. The Andrean offense came to life late in game, racking up seven runs over the last two innings.*
Mike Jarek led the way, going 2-for-4, with two runs scored, two RBIs and a walk.
Turning point: Until the fifth inning, the game seemed destined to be a pitchers duel. With two outs, Michael Doolin smashed a double to the left field gap to drive in two runs, take the pressure off Lelito and stretch the lead to 3-0. Two batters later, Connor Misch drove Doolin and Jarek home to put the game out of reach.
Andrean player of the game: Lelito — Throwing a complete game is an accomplishment, but holding a lineup with six hitters committed to Division I programs to only one run is truly a night to remember. Whether he was missing bats or forcing weak contact, Lelito’s changeup kept Marist’s batters guessing.
Quote: “My hope was to get three innings out of (Lelito), but he just kept getting out of inning after inning,” Andrean coach Dave Pishkur said. “I’ve never seen him throw a changeup like that before."
Beyond the box score: This marks the Niners second championship in the eight-year old tournament. After the game, Doolin was given the “Do it Stevie’s Way” award, named in honor of Steven Bajenski, a Mount Carmel baseball player who died from a heart condition in 2009.
Up next: North Newton (14-8) at Andrean (28-1), 4:30 p.m. Monday.*
* Editor's note: This story has been corrected from an earlier version.