LT baseball plays with target on back

WESTERN SPRINGS — As a state finalist each of the last two seasons and with the same expectations this year, Lyons Township baseball knows it will get the best shot from its opponent every game.

Last Wednesday, Sandburg gave LT its best shot and left Western Springs with a 5-0 win. The Lions were limited to just three hits in the loss.

LT has since gotten back on the winning track, but the defeat was an early reminder of the target the Lions will have on them all season.

“There’s definitely some pressure,” said junior Sam Cybulski. “Every team is going to throw their best pitcher against us and give us their best game so we’re going to have to really stay focused and stay humble.”

Cybulski was one of the offensive standouts in Saturday’s 7-0 win over Addison Trail. Cybulski and Keith Lehmann both went 2-for-4 with two RBIs against the Blazers. Tom Prescott fired a shutout on the mound.

Lehmann picked up a complete-game victory against Naperville Central on Thursday. The Lions won 4-3, and Lehmann struck out 10 Redhawks.

“We’re playing OK baseball,” said LT coach George Ushela. “We’re not playing bad baseball. We’re kind of getting the feel of things.”

Ushela complimented the pitching staff’s ability to get out of jams so far and the strong play of the defense. However, he still is concerned the team is sloppy in a few facets.

Last regular season, the Lions entered the season with high expectations as defending state champions, but were inconsistent in the regular season before getting hot in time for the playoffs. Ushela is hoping any early season issues are due to the lack of outdoor practices before these early season games.

“Everything has been inside, but our defense has been good,” Ushela said. “It’s still early to tell. We’re a work in progress.”

On Wednesday, LT will host Lincoln-Way North, another one of the top-ranked teams in the state. The Lions then will open West Suburban Silver play with a three-game series against Downers Grove North.