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La Salle-Peru’s Ben Bejster (No. 1) high fives teammate Kyle Rothrock after Bejster scored a run in Thursday’s Class 3A Morris Regional semfinal. After L-P gave up the lead in the top of the sixth, it scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth to rally and pull out a 5-3 victory. NewsTribune photo/Scott Anderson
MORRIS — The La Salle-Peru baseball team had to rally late against Coal City, but in the end the No. 2-seeded Cavaliers came away from Thursday’s Class 3A Morris Regional semifinal with a 5-3 victory over the Coalers.
The win advances L-P (21-14-1) to the regional title championship against host and top-seeded Morris (27-9) at 10 a.m. Saturday.
In the bottom of the first, Cavs lead-off hitter Ty Brovelli singled and scored two batters later on an RBI single from Noah Lamboley to make it 1-0 before a pair of Coal City errors pushed the lead to 2-0 after one inning of action.
Lamboley was dealing on the mound as he retired eight in a row at one point in the first three innings.
However, in the fifth inning, the Coalers got their offense going and pushed across their first run of the contest.
Zach Scerine singled and scored on D.J Buddle’s RBI single to cut into the Cavaliers lead 2-1.
In the top of the sixth, the Coalers got the bats going once again.
After the dreaded lead-off walk to Lane Crowherd, Brad Littleton was intentionally walked.
That brought up Alex Wills, who tied the game at 2 with an RBI single.
Moments later, Littleton gave the Coalers their first lead of the game when he scored on a wild pitch for a 3-2 lead.
“This has kind of been our calling card all season,” L-P coach Matt Glupczynski said with a laugh. “We can be our own worst enemy and our best friend all in the same inning. We got ourselves down a run and considering how late in the game it was, we could have mailed it in and said, ‘Nice season,’ but I told the kids to relax, just have fun and not give up.”
The Cavs did just that.
In the bottom of the sixth, Brady Huebbe crushed a long shot down the left-field line that one hopped the fence for a ground-rule double.
That brought up Nate Burris, who lined a shot off the first base bag that shot into right field to score Huebbe and tied the game at 3.
With two outs, Lamboley hammered a 1-2 offering down the left-field line to score Erik Milaicki and Burris to give L-P a 5-3 lead.
“What can you say about Brady Huebbe?” Glupczynski said. “He was sitting on the bench all game and then steps in and hits that ground-rule double.”
With one out in the top of the seventh, Buddle lined a rocket to Lamboley, who caught the ball at shortstop and threw to first to end the game with a double play. “Coach just told us not to panic and play our game,” Lamboley said. “We got some big hits and then turned the double play to end the game.”
Ty Brovelli finished with two hits for the Cavs, while Lamboley drove in three.
In relief of Lamboley, Huebbe picked up the win on the mound for the Cavaliers.
With the win, L-P will play for its fourth straight regional title and will meet Morris in the regional final for a second straight season.
“We know Morris is going to be tough, especially at home,” Lamboley said. “We lost 2-1 to them earlier this year, so we would love to get revenge on them in the regional championship.”