Since George Ushela took over the Lyons Township baseball program in 2001, the Lions have won a pair of state championships, four summer state titles along with a second place and fourth place showing in state tournament action.
Fresh off winning the 2011 state championship and the 2012 IHSBCA summer state title, the Lions nearly pulled off an improbable three-peat of successive titles before losing 4-3 to Oak Park in the 2012 state championship game. The Huskies’ Mike Brennan did in the Lions with a dramatic state-title winning single in the bottom of the seventh.
Needless to say, LT baseball has produced an incredible level of success under Ushela’s watch.
The Lions are geared up for another strong run this spring led by outstanding pitcher/third baseman Keith Lehmann. The Michigan recruit’s 2012 numbers speak for themselves: 10-2 record with a 0.86 ERA and hitting .345 with seven homers and 37 RBIs.
Complementing Lehman in the pitching rotation will be Alex Vannucci, Zach Carlson, Max Larson and Tom Prescott among others.
Outfielder Mike Lorenz and shortstop Stewart Nelson provide good bats in the Lions’ balanced lineup. Senior outfielder Matt Aikens, junior catcher Kyle Dilcher, junior infielder Sam Heilenbach, junior second baseman Sam Cybulski, junior outfielder Josh Kuntz, senior outfielder Jim Pavlick and senior infielder Mitchell Van Koevering will all see playing time. When not on the mound, Prescott and Carlson will play infield positions.
In the West Suburban (Silver) Conference race, LT will once again battle perennial top rival Oak Park. Like the Lions, the aforementioned reigning Class 4A state champion Huskies are legitimate contenders to claim conference and state titles again this year. York, Glenbard West and Downers Grove North should also field solid teams in easily one of the premier baseball conferences in the state.
On Saturday, LT (4-1) swept a doubleheader against Addison Trail by scores of 7-0 and 5-3. Prescott picked up the Game 1 victory, while junior lefty Sam Larson won Game 2 supported by Aikens’ two hits and timely RBI.
The Lions also earned an impressive 4-3 victory against visiting Naperville Central on March 28. Lehman (2-0) spun a one-hitter against the highly-regarded Redhawks. The hard-throwing righty, who typically hits 88-91 miles per hour on his pitches, struck out 10 but also walked five batters.
Prescott, Lorenz and Larsen had RBI singles during the Lions’ three-run fifth inning off Naperville Central pitcher Zach Aranoff.
LT takes on St. Joseph, Lincoln-Way North and Downers Grove North this week.