COAL CITY — Playing against a higher seed like the No. 3 Morris baseball team, La Salle-Peru came in with nothing to lose.
Sometimes that works in a team’s favor and for most of the game that was the case, but in the end, the Redskins rallied for a 5-2 victory over the Cavaliers on Thursday in a Class 3A Coal City Regional semifinal.
Early on in the contest, it looked like the Redskins were going to make a huge dent in the scoreboard.
Singles by Cole Laurie and Mat Lopez along with a bunt single loaded the bases in the bottom of the first with no outs.
But senior Cavs hurler Jake Dahl struck out the next three batters to end the inning with the score still 0-0.
Both pitchers were collecting K's with five each through two innings.
In the top of the third, the Cavs got things going.
Ky Copeland and Alex Lenkaitis both walked, and two batters later, Dominic Derlein picked up a two-out RBI single to right, scoring Copeland for a 1-0 lead.
Shortly after that, Cody Bledsoe threw two wild pitches with the second allowing Lenkaitis to score and make it 2-0 Cavs.
"At the start of the game, it was huge not allowing any runs to score," L-P coach Matt Glupczynski said. "After getting three quick outs to start and then not allowing any runs, it gave us some momentum. Dominic getting the big hit to get us on the board and heads up base running to get a second was a big lift for us."
Morris cut the Cavs lead in half in the bottom half of the third when Zach Reddinger singled to right to score Lopez.
Things stayed the same until the fifth when fatigue started to set in on Dahl.
Dahl walked just three batters during the contest, but all three came in the fifth.
Laurie, Matt Lopez and Jacob Overbeck all walked to load the bases with no outs.
That brought up Reddinger, who ripped a three-run double off the first pitch to left field to put the Redskins ahead 4-2.
Morris added an insurance run with an infield RBI single from Alex Cameron to put the Redskins head 5-2.
"Walks will kill you in baseball," Morris coach Todd Kein said. "L-P made us pay for ours and that's not something we usually have done in recent years, but then we were able to turn those walks into our favor in the fifth before Zach (Reddinger) got the big hit."
Over the last two innings, neither team did much offensively as the pitchers and defense stood out, allowing Morris to come away with the 5-2 victory.
"I'm really proud of the way our guys played," Glupczinski said. "We only got five seniors who stuck out four years of baseball, which also means we will have some good experience back next year if they are hungry and work during the offseason."
For the game the Cavs, had just two hits — one each by Derlein and Weber — with Derlein picking up the RBI.
Dahl took the loss as he allowed five runs in four innings.
Brad Martin Sr. can be reached at 220-6939 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.