LEMONT – For the second consecutive year, Lemont’s baseball team will be part of a loaded regional that includes defending state champion Joliet Catholic and powerful Lincoln-Way West.
But that’s a discussion for another day. In the meantime, the Indians are just focusing on the task at hand.
“We break up the season into 35 days,” Lemont coach Brian Storako said. “That’s how many games we are playing. We can’t control the regional or where we are seeded. We can only control what we can control. As long as we do what we can do, everything else will fall into place.”
So far, things have fallen into place quite nicely for Lemont, which won its first eight games of the season after dispatching of Wheaton North 4-3 on Saturday in a nonconference affair.
“No matter how much talent you have coming back,” the coach said, “you want to see where the guys all fit and you want to see the younger guys coming up. They are getting better every day and that is pretty much all you are looking for.”
Against the Falcons, Garrett Acton allowed just four hits in 6 ⅓ innings while striking out five and Nate Broskovetz notched the save after coming on in relief. Acton’s emergence this spring has made the pitching staff even deeper.
“Garrett has stepped up huge for us,” Storako said. “Being a sophomore, this is his first year on the varsity and he has been a pleasant surprise. Charlie [Wright] is feeding off what he did last year and now with [Jake] Latz in the mix, we know he will be solid.
“Our top three guys have been good. And then Sean Sublette and Austin Tittle, who is another sophomore, they’ve been throwing well in their starts. And I think we might have found a reliever in Broskovetz.”
The offense was held to five hits against Wheaton North with Mike Wisz and Mike Papierski driving in runs. But that game was the exception as the line-up has been extremely strong up and down the order much of the season.
“We talk to the guys who are lower in the batting order,” Storako said. “Their main job is getting it back to the top of the order. A lot of our production has been coming from those guys, whether it’s getting on base for the top half or moving runners over.”
At the top of the order, Ryan Folliard has stepped into the leadoff role and is excelling.
“He led off for us in the summer,” Storako said. “We didn’t know exactly where he would fit in but he has settled in nicely. He provides a little pop from that top spot and he gets on base.”
Lemont was scheduled to play conference games against Bremen and Shepard on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively, before taking on Sandburg today and Lincoln-Way North Saturday in nonconference matchups.