The pitching match-ups for Lyons Township's doubleheader with Oak Park-River Forest Saturday?"Huskies pro prospect Tim Dennehy starting the opener and LT ace Dan Sorce throwing in game two?"suggested the strong possibility of a split.
Five hours of baseball did, indeed, produce a split, but not in the fashion that may have been expected. After Dennehy was roughed up in Lyons' 7-6 Game 1 win, Sorce was out-dueled in Game 2 by Ian Berger, who threw a complete-game shutout in OPRF's 3-0 victory.
The split kept Lyons (28-2, 15-2) one game ahead of the Huskies in the West Suburban (Silver) Conference standings and set up a conference title game yesterday in Oak Park (after deadline). With a victory, OPRF (23-6, 14-3) would win the conference by virtue of its head-to-head edge over LT, while Lyons would win the title outright with a win.
The Lions came from behind to the opener after OPRF took a 6-3 lead into the sixth inning. But after retiring eight in a row, Dennehy allowed the first four batters to reach in the sixth and departed with the game tied 6-6. LT started the inning with a single and a walk, before Jack Holden's two-run double and Justin Birks' RBI groundout tied the game.
Dennehy left with the game tied, but Holden scored the winning run when an OPRF reliever uncorked a wild pitch with two outs.
LT starter Kyle Corcoran was hit around for six runs in the first three innings of Game 1 before proceeding to retire 13 of the last 14 he faced, including 12 in a row at one point. The only baserunner he allowed after the third inning came when Berger singled with two outs in the seventh. A pinch runner got the tying run in scoring position by stealing second, but Corcoran induced a ground out to secure the win.
Corcoran went seven innings, allowing seven hits and six runs with one walk and seven strikeouts.
Winning Game 1 meant all LT needed to win the conference was one win in the series' final two games. But Berger kept the Huskies alive until Tuesday with his gem in the nightcap. He and Sorce took the game into the fifth scoreless, but OPRF pushed single runs across in the fifth, sixth, and seventh.
LT's Dan Weston was scheduled to face Joe Froelich yesterday.