Frank Greco and Sean Burnette made for a killer combination in the middle of St. Laurence’s batting order Tuesday.
The duo combined to go 7-for-8 with five RBI and five runs as St. Laurence dismissed Marian Catholic 9-1 from a regional quarterfinal in the Phil Lawler Classic summer baseball tournament at Richards.
While Marian (4-13) struck first when Kellen Williams scored on an RBI single by Sean Gallagher, St. Laurence (12-2) responded with five runs on six hits in the bottom of the first inning.
Burnette smashed a two-RBI double and Greco followed with an RBI double.
“Early innings are so big,” St. Laurence coach Pete Lotus said. “To give up one and come back was really, really big. I thought we had great approaches that first inning.”
Greco proved to be a double threat, also gaining the pitching win. He gave up four hits in going the distance.
“When they’re both in the same day, it’s pretty rare,” Greco said of his pitching effort and 4-for-4 showing at the plate. “But it’s nice. Very nice.”
After giving up three hits in the first, Greco retired nine consecutive batters.
“I was leaving the ball up more in the first inning, but once we scored five runs I felt more easy and relaxed,” he said. “I knew we were fine and we’d keep hitting.”
St. Laurence moves on to face Oak Forest at 10 a.m. Wednesday in a regional semifinal at Richards.
For Marian Catholic, it was a lackluster showing after a big win Monday over St. Rita.
“We didn’t have a very good start and it kind of snowballed for us,” Spartans coach Phil Wail said. “But credit them, because they were peppering the ball.”
St. Laurence added three runs in the third inning behind a two-RBI single from Kevin Alderman. The Vikings added another run in the sixth when Greco knocked in Burnette for the third time.