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Area baseball teams hope to continue wild postseason

Lyons Township's baseball team hopes for a repeat state championship celebration. (Jeff Vorva/Tribune)

Lyons Township's baseball team hopes for a repeat state championship celebration. (Jeff Vorva/Tribune)

In a wild postseason that saw several top-ranked teams fall, four TribLocal area baseball team survived in Class 3A and 4A and have a date to try to win state titles.

The state semifinals take place Friday and Saturday at Silver Cross Field in Joliet.

In Class 4A, defending champion Lyons Township faces Minooka at 5 p.m. on Friday.

Lyons (26-12-1) had its moments of greatness and also had some rough patches during the season and picked up a fifth seed in the sectional.

But the Lions put on an impressive postseason run, beating Reavis 10-7 and Morton, 12-2 to win a regional title. They beat three strong private school teams in St. Laurence, 8-3, Mt. Carmel, 9-1, and Marist, 3-2 to reach the semifinals for the second straight year.

Kevin Lehmann has a 9-2 mark with an 0.86 ERA. Evan Booth, Steve Heilenbach and Lehmann lead the club with seven homers apiece.

Oak Park-River Forest faces Grant at 3 p.m. and comes into the final four with a 28-9-1 mark.

The Huskies boast a deep pitching staff as six of the seven pitchers who stepped on the mound threw between 25 and 45 innings.

Joe McKune has a 1.43 ERA and Zachary Weigel is at 1.71. Weigel also hit a team-high five homer runs this season.

Grant (25-11) closed the regular season winning four games by a combined score of 58-3 to help go into the postseason on a roll.

The Bulldogs were 12-17-1 and 10-17 the past two years and have never made it this far in the posteason.

In Class 3A, Nazareth returns to the final four after finishing fourth in 2011.

The Roadrunners, 30-9, sputtered toward the end of the year, dropping three of their last four regular-season games.

But they returned to form in the postseason, clobbering Chicago Westinghouse, 11-0, and Chicago Little Village, 10-1 in regional play and knocking off their next three opponents by a combined score of 22-8 to make it back to the state semifinals.

Dominic Pupura (9-1, 1.43 ERA) and Jake Bartels (7-2, 2.01) are a tough one-two punch on the hill and Ryan Marske has driven in 30 runs this season.

The Roadrunners’ semifinal opponent at noon Friday is East Suburban Catholic Conference foe Marian Catholic (23-17). During the regular season, Nazareth won 4-1 on May 2 but fell 5-3 the next day.

LaSalle Peru and Troy Triad are the two teams in the other bracket.

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