Baseball: Lyons Ends Providence's Title Hopes
Lyons Township 8, Providence Catholic 3. Celtics fall behind early and Lyons ace Connor Cuff handcuffs their bats in going the distance for the victory in the Class 4A championship game.
Touching All the Bases: Like he did in Friday’s semifinal victory over Prospect, Providence Catholic's Sam Travis gave the Celtics an early lead in Saturday’s state championship game with a bombastic home run in the first inning.
Unfortunately for Providence, Lyons came out swinging the bats against Celtics senior right-hander Brandon Magallones. The first three batters for the Lions singled and scored, and Lyons was on its way to an 8-3 victory and the Class 4A championship at Silver Cross Field in Joliet.
Lyons led 5-1 after three innings and extended the lead to 6-1 in the fourth. After Providence scored twice in the top of the sixth, Lyons responded with two more runs in the bottom of the frame.
Patch’s MVP: Lyons pitcher Connor Cuff finished the season 11-0, throwing a complete game against Providence. He yielded five hits, three earned runs and two walks, and he struck out six.
Providence’s Leaders: Sam Travis went 2-for-3 with a solo home run and an RBI double. Leadoff man Kevin DeFillippis went 2-for-4 with a run scored and Joe Houlihan went 1-for-3 with a run scored.
Lyons’ Leaders: In addition to his performance on the mound, Connor Cuff doubled and drove in four runs. Steve Heilenbach went 3-for-4, Spencer Mahoney went 2-for-2 with three runs scored and Brian Rodemoyer went 2-for-2 with two runs scored. The top three hitters for the Lions combined to go 7-for-8 with seven runs scored.
Quotable I: Providence coach Mark Smith on Connor Cuff: "He's the first pitcher all season long, I'd say, that's done that to this team."
Quotable II: Providence third baseman Sam Travis: "It didn't work out like we thought, but we had a great season. I want to thank everyone on this team. I tip my hat to the other team."
Team Records: Providence and Lyons both finished at 37-4.