By Matt Sobieralski
SOUTH BEND/MISHAWAKA — After another great regular season for the diamond kings of the ICCL, the playoffs began and every team had an opportunity to start fresh and seize control of the postseason tournament championship. The regular season champion St. Matthew/St. Jude team came into the tournament as the favorites and received a first round bye. However, some other teams would not be denied a chance at winning some hardware and would prove their worthiness with outstanding performances.
In a first-round game played at Chet Waggoner Little League in South Bend, the Crusaders of Holy Cross looked to avenge a previous loss at the hands of the Corpus Christi Cougars. In a back and forth contest that saw the Cougars’ Trevor Johnson go 3 for 4 at bat, the Crusaders and Cougars would need extra innings to settle this game. With two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning with the game tied at five, Johnson stepped up to the plate and looked to seize the moment and push his team onto the next round. Johnson sent a Crusader pitch past the infield and knocked in the game winning run with a single to give Corpus Christi the victory 6-5 and a second-round date with the Trojans of Holy Family.
Meanwhile, at Kennedy Park in South Bend, Mishawaka Catholic and Christ the King were playing for a chance to take on the regular season champion St. Matthew/St. Jude. Behind gritty pitching and clutch hitting the Saints of Mishawaka knocked off the Kings of Christ the King by a score of 9-4.
In the semi-final round of the playoffs, Corpus Christi brought their boom sticks to Chet Waggoner Little League for their game against the Holy Family Trojans. Everybody got into the action for the Cougars as they rolled into the ICCL championship game by defeating the Trojans 14-2.
In the other semi-final game, the Saints of Mishawaka Catholic were looking to avenge an early season loss against the regular season champion St. Matthew/St. Jude team. The Saints brought their “A” game to Kennedy Park where Thomas Egan put on a pitching spectacle. Egan threw a complete game where he struck out 13 St. Matthew/St. Jude batters to, not only avenge their early season loss, but propel them into the championship game.
After a tough and competitive season, the ICCL Championship is set to be played this Thursday at Chet Waggoner Little League with the first pitch set for 6:15 p.m. The match-up between the Corpus Christi Cougars and the Mishawaka Catholic Saints should not disappoint as both teams played earlier in the year to a 5-5 deadlock that had to be called due to darkness.
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