Lemont High School’s baseball program has achieved many firsts this season, and with an 11-1 super-sectional victory over De La Salle at Crestwood’s Standard Bank Stadium on June 9, head coach Brian Storako’s squad came one step closer to its ultimate goal of capturing a state championship. Riding an outstanding performance on the mound from senior Jake Latz and strong efforts at the plate from seniors Mike Papierski and Mike Wisz, the Indians advanced to the IHSA Class 3A Baseball State Finals, which will be contested at Silver Cross Field in Joliet on Friday, June 13, and Saturday, June 14. Lemont will face Metamora in a state semifinal game at 10 a.m. on June 13.
Latz moved his season record to 9-0 with the win, as he tossed 5.1 innings and allowed just two hits and one unearned run while striking out nine. He retired the final 11 batters he faced and lowered his season ERA to 0.25.
Papierski doubled, tripled, drove in two runs and scored three times, while Wisz doubled and drove in three runs. Senior Danny Dowiarz had two hits and scored twice, while sophomore Nick Wisz had two hits and drove in two.
Lemont will enter the state finals with a 33-5 record, having already established a school single-season record for wins. Winners of five straight games, the Indians have outscored their opponents by a 35-4 margin in the IHSA Playoffs. Lemont captured its sixth straight South Suburban College-Blue Division title in 2014, and also has earned the program’s first-ever IHSA Sectional and IHSA Super-Sectional crowns. When Latz (11th round) and Papierski (16th round) were drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 2014 Major League Baseball draft, they became the first Lemont baseball players to be drafted out of high school.
Lemont is seeking its first-ever team state championship in a boys’ sport. Lemont has had three runner-up state finishes in boys’ sports; its football squad posted consecutive runner-up IHSA Class 6A finishes in 2007 and 2008, and its boys’ track and field squad - featuring Nick Bromberek ‘00 as its only competitor - was second in the 2000 IHSA Class AA State Finals. Its cheerleading squad has captured four IHSA Medium Division State Championships in the last six years.
The baseball program is the school’s 11th sport to be represented in IHSA State Finals competition this year. The girls’ bowling squad competed in the IHSA State Finals; the cheerleading squad won the IHSA Medium Division State Championship; the poms/dance team competed in the IHSA Class 2A Competitive Dance State Finals; sophomore Taylor Campos participated in the IHSA Class 2A Girls’ Cross Country State Finals; senior Bridget Lynn competed at the IHSA Class AA Girls’ Golf State Finals; junior Annette Lesnicki advanced to the IHSA Girls’ Swimming State Finals; senior Joe Ziebell and juniors Nathaniel Burner and Nick Urban all competed at the IHSA Boys’ Tennis State Finals; senior Lisa Gawron took part in the IHSA Girls’ Tennis State Finals; juniors Jacque Desmond (6th, pole vault) and Vika Marmaite (2nd, triple jump) each medaled at the IHSA Class 3A Girls’ Track and Field State Finals; and junior Jimmy Brennan and freshmen Egan Berta and Jake Kirkman each participated in the IHSA Class 2A Wrestling Individual State Finals.