Sean Duncan’s baseball notes

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1. Many people in the Chicagoland area may not completely appreciate how impressive Lisle’s Class 2A championship run was; specifically, that the Lions, thanks to an incredibly gutty performance by senior left-hander Ryan Van Volkenburg defeated Teutopolis, 2-1, in the state semifinals. Teutopolis is not just a farm town in southeastern Illinois. It is a baseball factory, a powerhouse program that has a roster full of high-level prospects, year in and year out. The fact that Van Volkenburg allowed a leadoff homer, then shut down the Wooden Shoes the rest of the way, was a remarkable feat.

2. If Nazareth can get by Grayslake Central in Monday’s Class 3A Naperville Supersectional, then the Roadrunners will secure their third consecutive state trophy, an impressive feat. Coach Lee Milano has led the Roadrunners to fourth- and third-place finishes the last two seasons. Equally as impressive, if Maine South can beat Libertyville in the Class 4A Rockford Supersectional, the Milano clan can have a family reunion in Joliet. Maine South is coached by Lee’s brother, Bill.

3. And while we’re on the topic of impressive feats, Joliet Catholic right-hander Sam Couch has to be in the conversation. On Saturday against Evergreen Park, the 5-foot-8, 150-pound Lewis University recruit tossed his third consecutive shutout. Couch pitched pitched a two-hitter and struckout 15 to lead the Hilltoppers to the Class 3A Lincoln-Way West Sectional title. In the regional championship game last Saturday, he threw a no-hitter against Lemont, and he also threw a five-hitter against St. Rita. Couch has yielded seven hits and notched 31 punchouts in his 21-inning scoreless streak.

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