Sean Duncan’s baseball notes

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1. The Class 4A Bloomington Sectional was turned upside down last week in regional action. The two heavy favorites to advance to the sectional final – Minooka and O’Fallon – both top 10 state-ranked teams, lost. Shockingly, battle-tested Minooka got blitzed 13-2 in six innings by surging Joliet West, which has won six straight, in the regional final Saturday. Meanwhile, O’Fallon, which was ranked No. 7 in the Prep Baseball Report’s statewide poll, was stunned by Belleville West in the first round. 

2. After a slow start of the season, Lyons has flown under the radar – something the perennial powerhouse seldom does. But since getting some players back from injuries, the Lions have ripped off 17 consecutive victories after they defeated rival Oak Park-River Forest, 5-3, in the Lyons Regional final. Junior right-hander Tom Hickey, who didn’t start pitching until last summer, has been the catalyst to the team’s success. The 6-4, 170-pounder three-hit Oak Park on Saturday to improve his record to 8-1. The Lions will face a tough test on Wednesday when they face No. 2 St. Rita at the Reavis Sectional semifinal.

3. Westmont is the lone hope to represent the Chicago-area in the Class 2A state semifinals Friday in Peoria. The Sentinels defeated North Shore, 6-4, on Saturday in the Benedictine Sectional final, and will face Ottawa Marquette on Monday in the Benedictine Supersectional. Ottawa Marquette had upended Herscher, 7-4, to advance.

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