WESTERN SPRINGS – After a slow start by its own lofty standards, Lyons Township baseball is starting to get on a roll.
One of the reasons for the turnaround has been the emergence of senior Tom Prescott. Prescott, who is committed to pitch for the University of Chicago, has started to string together quality performances on the mound.
Prescott has been back and forth with Michigan-bound Keith Lehmann for the team strikeout and wins lead. After Prescott threw an 11-strikeout, two-hit shutout against Glenbard West on April 22, coach George Ushela was visibly excited by Prescott’s performance.
“When he throws strikes, [he’s good],” Ushela said. “His first couple [of] starts, he walked a lot of guys. He was always behind hitters and walking guys. Now he’s been pitching ahead.”
Prescott admitted to his own shaky start, but if he continues to throw like he has recently, the Lions will look more like the team that was one of the favorites to win state. Lehmann has been dominant all season with a 1.89 ERA and 48 strikeouts in 37 innings. Prescott’s recent run, along with Alex Vannucci’s 2.03 ERA, has given LT three strong starters.
The Lions’ series win against defending Class 4A state champion Oak Park-River Forest gave LT three straight West Suburban Silver series victories after losing two of three to Silver leader Downers Grove North. LT sits in second in the league standings.
“I think we got off to kind of a shaky start, but we had a talk with the coaches and they whipped us into shape,” Prescott said. “It’s all about focusing.”
Entering Monday’s start against Oak Park-River Forest, Prescott had 43 strikeouts in 30 innings, just behind Lehmann. Lehmann has a team-high five wins with Prescott right behind with four.
Prescott also bats and plays first base for the Lions but said he was recruited to the University of Chicago to pitch. He said the academics were his first priority when choosing a school.
“My philosophy was I wanted to use my baseball abilities to get to the best schools I can,” Prescott said. “That’s what I really focused on when it comes to baseball, getting the best school that I could possibly get into.”