Varsity Baseball | May 22, 2019

Lake Central holds on to eliminate host Munster

MUNSTER — Lake Central junior pitcher Brock Begesha had the customary ice Saran-wrapped around his right arm after Wednesday’s performance against rival Munster in a Class 4A sectional opener.

Begesha came on in relief of senior starter Zack Dobos to nail down L.C.’s 4-3 win over host Munster.

“I just wanted to come in, throw hard, throw strikes and pick Dobos up,” said Begesha, who has a 0.69 ERA. “Dobos had a good start still. Maybe didn’t have his best stuff, but he’s our ace and we expect him to be good every time.”

Begesha entered the game with one out in the top of the fifth inning with L.C. leading 4-2, but Munster (16-6) had runners on first and second base. He got two strikeouts to preserve the lead.

“Out of the bullpen, I always come in with a little extra energy, looking for a strikeout with a guy on third, definitely,” he said. “I got ‘em, so that’s what I’m looking to do.”

Munster’s Nick Hamilton tripled to open the sixth and scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Ronnie Nowak, but Begesha got a strikeout and groundout to avert further damage.

In the seventh, Begesha issued a two-out walk but registered his fifth strikeout to end the game.

“He wants the ball,” L.C. coach Mike Swartzentruber said. “Zack is our ace and has been for two years, and he didn’t have his best stuff. He struggled, but he struck out (Nick) Fies with the bases loaded on a 3-2 pitch (in the fourth inning). That was a huge pitch. That may have been the biggest play of the game.”

Munster took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on a double by Garrett Manous, a walk by Fies, a sac bunt by Will Melby before Costa Sirounis drove in both runs with a single.

L.C. scored four runs in the second inning on just two hits. Two walks by Munster freshman starter Brady Ginaven and an error fueled the rally.

“If we could’ve caught a couple pop-ups, especially that first one, it could’ve been a different story,” Munster coach Bob Shinkan said. “But Brady, he’s a good one. As a freshman with the poise he had on the mound, I’m really proud of him.”

Junior Nolan Zahorsky had the big blow with a two-run single to give the Indians (21-6) a 4-2 lead.

“Our pitchers kept us in the game the whole time,” Zahorsky said. “I had my chance to come up, got a pitch I liked, tomahawked it into right field. … I got a fastball up inside. I’m not sure how I hit it, but I did.”

The two-run cushion proved to be enough.

“It would’ve been nice to get some insurance runs, but I have trust in my pitchers,” Zahorsky said. “They did a great job, and all glory to them.”

Munster out-hit Lake Central 10-4.

“The thing that we didn’t do is we didn’t get the timely hit,” Shinkan said. “There were three innings, could’ve been four innings where we had guys in scoring position, and we just couldn’t get that big hit. And they came up with the big pitches, made the big plays at the right time and that’s just baseball.”

L.C. advances to play at 5 p.m. Friday in the first semifinal game against the winner of Wednesday’s late game between Lowell and Morton.

“We’ve got a little speed. We’re opportunistic,” Swartzentruber said. “We usually get good pitching, we’re usually pretty good defensively so it gives ua chance. (Wednesday) night was a toss-up, two good teams, and we definitely feel fortunate we came out on top.”

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