Propect left-hander Pasquelli Atteo found himself pitching from the stretch for most of Tuesday’s pool-play game against St. Laurence in the Phil Lawler Summer Classic.
It apparently didn’t bother Atteo, who tossed a complete game to lead Prospect to a 4-2 victory. It sends Prospect (26-6-1) into Wednesday’s 7:30 p.m. semifinal against undefeated Joliet Catholic. St. Laurence closes at 15-4.
“In the stretch, I kind of feel better,” Atteo said. “Early in games I like the windup, but later I like to go to the stretch. I feel more comfortable and I have a good move over to first so I even feel more comfortable.”
That nifty pickoff move nabbed two St. Laurence baserunners off first base. Those were just two several key mistakes made by the Vikings. They also had a runner picked off first base by the catcher, committed two errors, let a pop fly drop untouched in foul ground and misplayed a base hit in center field.
“Like I told the guys, it’s been a long time since I thought we played that poorly and very uncharacteristic for how these guys have played the past six weeks,” Vikings coach Pete Lotus said. “I thought in both games we definitely gave away some things.”
One such thing was the leadoff walk. Prospect’s Pat Donahue (1-for-1, 2 walks, stolen base) walked in the first inning and Jake Cavaini followed with a single. Both scored when Lucas Karz (2-for-2, walk) delivered a single and Grant Miller lofted a sacrifice fly to center field.
Karz is 5-for-8 with three RBI for the week.
“Lucas is having an MVP tournament,” Prospect coach Ross Giusti said. “He gives us a presence in the No. 4 hole and gives other teams things to think about.”
St. Laurence had six base hits and also received five walks and two hit batters. The Vikings had plenty of opportunities to get to Atteo, but stranded 10 runners. Tom Farrell had their only RBI hit, pulling the Vikings to within 4-2 in the top of the sixth.
“We didn’t do what we preach,” Lotus said. “I think we gave them a lot of easy outs and didn’t put too much pressure on them.”
Jack Cavanaugh paced the Vikings with two hits and a walk.
Prospect was able to get back at St. Laurence, which won Monday’s game 12-4.
“We were disappointed when we played, because we felt we gave away a lot with regards to walks and errors,” Giusti said. “We told the kids that when you get down to these state games, you’re playing the big boys and if you want to take that next step and be looked at as a solid ballclub, you have to beat a team like St. Laurence.”