Baseball

High school baseball: Justin Lavrisa, Jacobs top McHenry in pitchers' duel

Justin Lavrisa
Justin Lavrisa

ALGONQUIN – Jacobs’ Justin Lavrisa and McHenry’s Joe Kaminski made it evident right away that Saturday’s Fox Valley Conference baseball game might be a short one for the fans and a long day for hitters.

Both struck out nine batters and allowed only one hit. Jacobs coach Jamie Murray thought the game might have gone nine or 10 innings had it not been for one mighty swing from Golden Eagles catcher Liam Oreskovich.

Jacobs’ only hit sailed about 360 feet off Oreskovich’s bat, over the left-center field fence, providing all the offense Lavrisa required. The senior left-hander threw 90 pitches to subdue the Warriors, 1-0, in a decision that dropped McHenry 1 1/2 games behind Huntley for the FVC lead.

McHenry (20-10, 14-6) lost for the fourth time in its past five FVC games. Huntley (23-5, 15-4) beat Crystal Lake South, 2-0, on Saturday. Jacobs moved to 16-10-1, 12-7.

Lavrisa (2-2) took part in a pitchers’ duel against McHenry’s Bobby Miller when the teams met in last year’s Class 4A Jacobs Regional. McHenry won that game, 2-1.

“I just know I have to go out there and try my best to not let them score because you know it’s going to be a low-scoring game,” Lavrisa said. “Honestly, everything was working. My two-seamer was moving, just getting off their bats and getting ground balls. I was feeling really good this game.”

Kaminski (6-3) has allowed three earned runs in 50 2/3 innings and suffered another tough-luck loss.

“[Lavrisa] always pitches well against us,” Kaminski said. “I always like to come out and be the better pitcher, but it doesn’t happen every time. My fastball was cutting a lot. I noticed from the mound it was moving from the outside part of the plate to the other batter’s box. That’s when I know it’s working well.”

Kaminski’s one mistake came when he fell behind Oreskovich, 2-0, in the fourth inning.

“I knew a fastball was coming, and I was just looking for something good to hit,” Oreskovich said. “I just swung hard and hoped for the best, and it went over. I just put my head down and started running because the wind was blowing in. I was just hoping to get it in the gap.”

It was one of the few times either pitcher was behind in the count.

“[The coaches] harp on it, fell behind 2-0 and they’ll make you pay,” Kaminski said. “]Oreskovich] took a real huge hack on the fastball I gave him and put it over the fence.”

McHenry, which was the home team after the game was moved to Jacobs because of unplayable field conditions at Petersen Park in McHenry, had its one chance to score in the bottom of the fourth when Kaminski reached on an error and Dylan Honkala singled to left field. Jake Evans’ ground ball moved them up one base each with one out.

Jared Wojcik grounded back to Lavrisa, who threw to first baseman Spencer Foulks, who then threw to second as Kaminski broke for home. Honkala could not get back to second in time before Kaminski touched home plate.

“We have to execute there,” Warriors coach Brian Rockweiler said. “We had second and third and one out, we have a base-running mistake and don’t hit the ball past the pitcher. Joe pitched well. He fell behind one guy, and he put a good swing on one. It’s a tough way to lose if you’re him, but he pitched really well.”

Murray could not have been more pleased with Lavrisa’s performance.

“He’s been with us for three years (on varsity),” Murray said. “He’s a winner – he pounds the strike zone. His greatest strength is he’s fearless. He maintains his composure. He’s competitive inside. He’s a gamer, man. I love him.”

STAR OF THE GAME

Justin Lavrisa

Jacobs, sr., P

The senior left-hander was on top of his game with nine strikeouts and no walks in a one-hitter to beat McHenry, 1-0. Lavrisa threw 90 pitches, and only four Warriors reached base, three on errors.

THE NUMBER

9: Strikeouts for Lavrisa and for McHenry starter Joe Kaminski.

AND ANOTHER THING

Kaminski was pulled with two outs in the seventh inning because he had reached his pitch-count limit. Dylan Honkala came in for the final out. Under the IHSA pitch-count rules, Kaminski, who was at 87, could throw only 90 pitches because of the number of days from his previous start.

Jacobs 1, McHenry 0

Jacobs 000 100 0 – 1 1 3

McHenry 000 000 0 – 0 1 0

WP: Justin Lavrisa, 2-2 (7IP, 1H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 9K). LP: Joe Kaminski, 6-3 (6.2IP, 1H, 1R, 1ER, 1BB, 9K).

Top hitters–Jacobs: Liam Oreskovich 1-3 (HR, RBI, R). McHenry: Dylan Honkala 1-3.

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