Baseball: LaSalle-Peru too much for Burlington Central
By Erik Jacobsen firstname.lastname@example.org June 4, 2012 10:42PM
Updated: July 7, 2012 8:34AM
MOLINE — Burlington Central became the first team to score against LaSalle-Peru during the postseason, but that was about the only highlight for the Rockets on Monday in an otherwise lopsided Class 3A Rock Island Supersectional.
Sophomore Noah Lamboley went the distance on the mound for the Cavaliers, who continued to steamroll through the state playoffs with a 10-1 victory against Burlington Central at Augustana College’s Swanson Stadium.
LaSalle-Peru (33-6) led 10-0 and appeared on its way to a fifth straight postseason shutout, but the Rockets avoided losing by slaughter rule when senior Tanner Scott doubled to deep center to lead off the bottom of the sixth and scored on Blake Alexander’s one-out single up the middle.
“This is a team that struggled at times this year and things didn’t always go their way,” Burlington Central coach Kyle Nelson said. “They were down big late in the game and they weren’t satisfied with going home in six innings. It’s a testament to our guys and the kind of players they are and the kind of kids they are.”
The Cavaliers pushed across a run in the top of the first and got a jolt of momentum when Burlington Central’s Riley Jensen was thrown out at home trying to score from second on Reed Hunnicutt’s single to left to end the bottom of the second. LaSalle-Peru answered with three runs in the top of the third, two in the top of the fourth and four more in the top of the sixth.
Michael Scott started and took the loss for the Rockets, who were short on pitching arms after claiming their first sectional title in program history with two victories Saturday. Michael Scott (3-3) allowed six earned runs on eight hits while walking four and striking out three in 5 1/3 innings.
Jensen finished 2-for-3 to lead the seven-hit attack for Burlington Central (28-11), which was able to find some positives despite the disappointing outcome.
“Every team that comes through here from now on is going to know this was the team to first break down the door (and win a sectional title),” Tanner Scott said. “Everyone else can look to this team.”
Added Nelson: “The seniors did a great job of setting the tone for future classes to come. We’ve had some pretty good teams over the years, and they’ve made it farther than any one of those other teams.”
Cody Booker (3-for-4), Adam Happ (2-for-4, two RBI, three runs) and Casey Huebbe (2-for-4, four RBI) led the offense for the Cavaliers, who advance to play Troy Triad in the state semifinals Friday in Joliet.
Lamboley (10-1) struck out three and walked only one in yet another solid pitching performance for LaSalle-Peru.
“That run (Burlington Central) scored really didn’t matter,” Lamboley said. “We came out here and did what we had to do as a team and got the job done.”
The Cavaliers were without coach Bill Booker, who served a one-game suspension for violating IHSA rules after a former LaSalle-Peru player who now plays in college threw batting practice to the team. Booker, who is not returning as coach next year, is expected to be back in the dugout for the state semifinals according to LaSalle-Peru athletic director Greg Sarver.