It’s been nothing but sunshine for Joliet Catholic this summer.
The Hilltoppers kept their unblemished record intact with a 4-0 win over Plainfield South in a Phil Lawler Classic summer baseball tournament regional semifinal Wednesday at Lockport.
Joliet Catholic (14-0) advances to face Sandburg 7 p.m. Thursday in the Lockport Regional final. Plainfield South closes at 14-9.
Mitch Boe opened the game with a double, took third on a wild pitch and crossed home on a sacrifice fly from Keegan Tyrell to put Joliet Catholic ahead early.
“We had a tough loss in the spring and we’re coming back and making our statement that we’re still here,” said Boe, referring to a Class 3A postseason loss against Lincoln-Way West.
Boe scored again in the third inning after a throwing error on a bunt from Tyrell. Nick Dalesandro followed with an RBI single that knocked in Tyrell for a 3-0 Hilltoppers lead.
That was more than enough for Joliet Catholic as four pitchers — Danny Belling, Connor Brandon, Alex Ragusa and Mike Quiram — combined to throw a four-hit shutout.
“We were trying to get some other guys some looks,” Boe said. “We knew we were going to come out here and take care of business.”
“It was a nice collective win,” said Ragusa, who struck out two in his two innings. “Those guys were telling me where the strike zone was, about the mound and what the hitters were doing, so that was nice.”
Plainfield South’s Easton Frisby surrendered six hits and three earned runs in five innings.
“We’re a good baseball team, but our mindset wasn’t very good,” South coach Phil Bodine said. “I thought we could have done some things early against some pitches that we could have handled, but we didn’t.”
Marcus Stewart went 1-for-2 with a walk for Plainfield South.
Joliet Catholic’s Drake Fellows (2-for-3) added an RBI double in the fifth inning.