Baseball: Matt Lang drives in winning run to lift LaGrange past Western Springs
La Grange's James Moore score on an RBI single hit by Justin Malpede against Pleasantdale on Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2012 in the 49th annual Roy A. Overholt Invitational boys Little League baseball tournament held in Brookfield. | Rob Hart~Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 24, 2012 7:14AM
BROOKFIELD — Rain and lightning took away some of the thunder of LaGrange’s 5-4 four-inning victory over Western Springs in a semifinal of the 49th annual Roy A. Overholt Invitational Monday in Brookfield.
The game was called after nearly an hour delay in the top of the fifth after lightning warning sirens brought the contest to a halt.
“I thought we played well. Play every play is what I tell the kids because you never know what is going to happen,” said LaGrange manager Mike Clarke. “Western Springs also played an outstanding game — two great teams. It’s too bad it had to end the way it did.”
LaGrange secured the victory on an RBI double by winning pitcher Matt Lang in the fourth that brought in Eamon McDonnell, who started the frame with a base hit to right.
Western Springs led early when it scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning, highlighted by singles from leadoff hitter Billy McNamara and Nick Panos. Owen Waunn also crossed the plate after being hit by a pitch and eventually coming home on a wild pitch.
LaGrange scored four in the top of the second on RBI by Kevin Clarke and a two-run single by McDonnell after Jack O’Connell, Ryan Kallal and Ethan Cabela all reached base on infield hits.
Western Springs tied it in the third after Eric Steensma singled and scored on a passed ball. Owen Waunn crushed a double in the inning but was stranded at third.
“It’s a little disappointing to wrap things up this way because the boys played well in a game between two excellent championship teams that both came to play,” Western Springs manager Bob Waunn said. “But I’m proud of my boys. If we had to lose, we did it against a very good squad.”
Lang pitched all four innings and allowed five hits and two earned runs. He struck out eight and didn’t walk a batter.
LaGrange will play for the championship at 7:30 p.m. Thursday against the winner of Tuesday’s scheduled contest between Berwyn and Riverside. Western Springs advanced to the third place at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.
The Overholt tournament matches 12 teams from District 9 Little League in a single-elimination format that extends over two weeks.