LOCKPORT – -Leaving the bases loaded three times in the first four innings are the kind of numbers that don’t add up to wins.
That was the case for host Lockport on Wednesday night against Sandburg. The wasted opportunities in the early innings led to a 7-2 regional semifinal loss in the Phil Lawler Classic summer tournament.
Sandburg advanced to the regional title game at 7 p.m. Thursday vs. Joliet Catholic, a 4-0 winner over Plainfield South.
“It is disappointing when you have those opportunities and you don’t take advantage of them, especially early in the game,’’ Lockport coach Andy Satunas said.
The Porters had 10 hits and left 12 runners on base.
Lockport junior Anthony Cocco was 3-for-3 with two doubles and an RBI. The Porters were losing 5-1 in the sixth when Cocco’s second double put runners at second and third with one out. But Tyler Hair struck out looking and Steve Hill flew out to center field to end the inning.
“We were doing well putting the bat on the ball, but when we needed it, it just didn’t go our way,’’ Cocco said. “It’s a team game. We pick each other up and I just try to do my job.’’
Lockport starting pitcher Jordan Johnston gave up two hits in his 4 1/3 innings, but he hit three batters and walked three, five of whom scored.
“I’m proud of Jordan,’’ Satunas said. “He missed the whole spring (knee injury). His first time live on a mound was the last week in June. We expect big things out of Jordan.’’
Lockport (13-7) went ahead 1-0 in the second on two base hits, a bunt single and a sacrifice fly.Collin Cronberg led off with a single, Davis Purviance put down a one-out bunt hit and Jeremy Quade singled to load the bases before Cocco delivered a sacrifice fly to score Cronberg.
Sandburg (14-2) tied it 1-1 in the third and took advantage of two walks to go ahead 3-1 in the fourth. Ken Michalowski’s two-out double scored Ben Kociper and Taylor Gold.Sandburg winning pitcher Alec Martinez helped his cause with a two-run double in the fifth that gave the Eagles a 5-1 lead.
“I tip my cap to Alec Martinez,’’ Satunas said. “Outstanding job by that young man, commanding the outer half of the strike zone. He commanded his pitches and our hitters did not adjust in the moments when we had the runners in scoring position.’’