BERWYN – It’s playoff time and not a moment too soon for Morton.
The Mustangs lost the final four games of the regular season. It’s just the second time this season Morton has had a skid of more than three games and it’s not the time of year to slump.
After Morton lost the last two games of its final West Suburban Gold series to Addison Trail, the Mustangs fell to Reavis and Lyons Township in nonconference games.
Morton lost 3-2 to Reavis in nine innings on May 15 despite outhitting the hosts 4-3. Sergio Villalobos, who had been used primarily as a closer this season, got the start and went seven innings. Villalobos only allowed two unearned runs in the bottom of the seventh. All three Reavis runs were unearned.
The next day, LT beat Morton 6-5. The Mustangs held a 5-2 lead before surrendering four runs in the bottom of the fifth. Morton’s top two starters during the regular season, Eli McMahon and Anthony Iniquez, split the innings on the mound.
Both of last week’s nonconference opponents are seeded higher than the Mustangs in the Reavis sectional.
Morton can now look toward today’s regional semifinal against No. 6-seed Whitney Young. The No. 12 Mustangs may have an edge from playing a difficult nonconference schedule as well as competing with quality teams like Hinsdale South and Downers Grove South from the Gold.
“They play Simeon,” said Morton coach Mike Casey. “Simeon is a good city team, but most of the city teams don’t compare to the West Suburban.”
Last year, Morton pulled off a first-round upset over De La Salle to make a regional final. These Mustangs have had more regular-season success, but are just one seed higher than a year ago.
Morton last won a regional in 2006.