BURBANK – Sam Heilenbach and Jake Shepski put on a pitching clinic in Wednesday's sectional semifinal between Lyons Township and St. Rita, but Shepski had just a bit more to get the win.
The top-seeded Mustangs knocked out the No. 4 Lions 2-0 at Reavis.
Shepski, a Notre Dame recruit, gave up just four hits and hit one batter. Heilenbach gave up three hits and three walks in his six innings.
Shepski helped his own cause by drawing a leadoff walk in the fourth and that led to the game's first run. Pinch runner Matt Murawski stole second base, advanced to third on wild pitch and scored on a throwing error trying to throw him out at third.
Rita doubled the lead in the fifth on a similar play. Marty Bechina hit a leadoff single to break up Heilenbach's no-hitter, stole second and third and scored on a throwing error when he stole third.
Heilenbach, who is headed to Wisconsin-Whitewater, wasn't ashamed to lose in a well-pitched game.
"I'm a competitive guy," the senior said. "Competition is always what I look forward to with their ace on the mound going against us is a fun game to play in."
The Lions finished the season 27-9, and had a 21-game winning streak snapped in the loss.
Shepski was just too good on the day.
"He was very good on the mound," LT coach George Ushela said. "I like the way we competed. Our kids have competed. He's probably the best pitcher we've seen all year. He shut us down today."