North halts St. Thomas, 3-0, Zach Lauzon allows only 3 hits

On a day better suited to ducks than baseball fans, the St. Thomas Academy Cadets ventured to North St. Paul to dodge raindrops and battle the North High Polars.  

Behind the three-hit pitching of North senior Zach Lauzon, the Polars managed to score three runs in the first two innings of play and end up with a 3-0 victory over the St. Thomas Cadets on Wednesday, May 6.  

Asked about his performance after the game, Lauzon said, “I had my curveball working and was able to get it over the plate. That kind of set them up.

“We got those runs in the first two innings and that was all we needed. The kids behind me had a good game. Especially Joey [Lenart] at first base. The whole team gave me good support.”

In all Lauzon pitched to near perfection. He struck out six in the seven innings he was on the mound. He issued three walks and did not allow a St. Thomas hit until the top of the fifth inning. The win pushed his season mark to 5-0.

“What can you say about this game?” asked North coach Ron Adams, rhetorically. He then answered his own question by stating, “It was pitching extraordinaire. I’m not sure they really hit a ball very hard. Then our defense played well. The one inning after [St. Thomas] got a couple of scratch hits and had runners on first and third, we had a huge double play to get out of the inning.

“We had them on the ropes early ... but we let them off the ropes, and it went seven innings. But we got out of there with a win, and that was the important thing.”

St. Thomas coach Tony Cicalello had praise for Lauzon as well when he stated, “He kept us off balance all day. He threw the curveball for strikes. Actually, he did really well. After the first two innings it was a pretty good baseball game. We just couldn’t get a hit when we really needed one.”

In the bottom of the first Jake Steckler led off with a slow roller to the left side and beat the peg. He was later out at the plate on an outfield throw to the plate. On the play, Brandon Herold, who had walked, moved to third. Herold then scored on a passed ball, and North led 1-0.

Polars managed a couple of more runs in the second inning. Sam Farley had a leadoff walk, and Lenart banged a single into left. The pair moved up on a wild pitch. Gus Varland then cracked a two-RBI single into left center, and North’s margin was 3-0.

In the top of the fifth St. Thomas had its only real threat. Jacob Mischke led off with a single, but was out on a fielder’s choice, which allowed Nic Scheffer to reach first. Woody Hubbell put a perfect sacrifice bunt on the ground and beat the peg.

Then came the huge double play - Lauzon to third baseman Nic Keenan to first baseman Lenart - and the threat was over.

In the top of the sixth the Cadets picked up their third hit when Nick Goblisch beat out a slow roller to the right side.

The win pushed the North record to 9-2 in the Metro East Conference. The loss dropped the Cadets to 7-5 and 7-6 overall.

Wally Wakefield can be reached at wwakefield@lillienews.com or at 651-748-7820.
 

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