LaVille advances to championship, 4-0

LaVille's Justin DeClark pitches during game two Saturday afternoon at Newton Park.Justin DeClark is tagged out on the steal Saturday afternoon in game twoNick Felke is caught in a pickle Saturday afternoon by LaCrosse's catcher Kaleb Frazier.Justin DeClark sprints to first base off a ground ball to short stop Saturday afternoon.DeClark is called out on the close call.
Whitney Worthen
Assistant Sports Editor

It was a long day for both teams, but both teams came to win and that’s just what one team came out and did.

In the final of four games on the day, LaVille pulled out a 4-0 win over LaCrosse Saturday afternoon at Newton Park in the semifinal game of Sectional 51.

“We got the two wins today,” said LaVille head coach Brian Lawler about LaVille’s day. “Steinke did a real good job pitching for us. We had two big innings where we swung the bats in that first game against Career Academy. Here in game two against LaCrosse, Justin DeClark another senior starting pitcher went the whole game and did a great job defensively. Then we got a few hits there to get the runs to get the win today.”

Despite not holding back, LaVille didn’t tally a huge number of hits and had to rely heavily on the defense to get it out of some jams. Senior pitcher Justin DeClark lead the way in game two of the day, repeatedly shutting down LaCrosse before they could score. LaCrosse was forced to abandon 10 base runners over seven innings — seven of which were in scoring position.

“It was our starting pitcher,” said Lawler about today’s big deciding factor. “He did a great job, a few walks…We pitched out of quite a few jams. They had runners in scoring position quite a few times, and we were able to pitch our way out of it.”

One of those jams just happened to be on a double play with the bases loaded.

In the top of the fourth, a base hit and two walks loaded the bases for LaCrosse. Batter Brandon Brust knicked the third pitch from DeClark. Unfortunately for the Tigers, the ball bounced straight toward DeClark who quickly tossed the ball to catcher Nick Moore. Moore tagged home plate and turned to throw to third baseman Jimmy Fischer. Fischer caught the ball with ease for the second out, leaving LaCrosse with runners on second and first.

“That double play with bases loaded to come back and adjust from home to third, that was a huge at bat to stop that inning,” said Lawler.

Now the Lancers head into Monday to play defending sectional champions South Central. The Satellites dimed Oregon-Davis earlier in that afternoon. They recorded 11 hits and struck out 13 batters. After watching them earlier in the day and facing them earlier in this year, LaVille knows from experience it will be in a close battle with the 2016 sectional champions, but hopefully with a more experienced pitching staff, LaVille will be able limit South Central’s hitting.

“We got to take care of ourselves. We got to pitch, make them swing their bats,” said Lawler. “We saw this team earlier in the year. They’re a good team. They’re our defending champions in the sectionals from last year. It’s going to take some starting pitching. It’s going to take defense, and hopefully, we’ll get some timely hitting.”

At Lakeville
LC: 000 000 0 — 0 5 4
LV: 011 020 X — 4 3 2
Justin DeClark (W); Jeremy Johnson (L), Dylan Claypool (6)
2B: Nathan Jones (LC), Garth Medors (LV)