Lutheran completed its next step on the road back to state on Monday as host Lutheran St. Charles, behind a big early hit from Jake Versemann and superb pitching from Brody Roach, rolled to an 8-0 win over Lutheran North in a Class 3 sectional Monday.
The win over Lutheran North was the second straight sectional triumph for the Cougars and propels them into a quarterfinal date at South Calloway at 5 p.m. Lutheran faced South Calloway in the quarterfinal round last season.
“I think it’s gonna be a good game,” Versemann said. “It’s my first time going, I wasn’t on varsity last year but it’s a long road trip and I know they’ve got a pretty solid team. I think if we play the way we did today, I think we can pull it out.”
Versemann came up clutch in the bottom of the first inning as the junior first baseman ripped a two-run single with two out. His hit saved a bases loaded situation from coming up fruitless, as the Cougars loaded the bases, but did not get a a hit from the next two hitters.
“I think it was super important because we got them down and got momentum our way,” Versemann said. “We kept pounding them early on and often.”
Lutheran St. Charles had its offense clicking early, as the Cougars scored twice in the first inning, and added four more runs in the next two frames for a 6-0 lead.
Stoked early by Versemann’s timely hit, the Cougars continued to hammer away at Lutheran North pitching to the tune of 10 hits.
Senior outfielder Kory Carter’s booming home run to right field in the bottom of the sixth closed out the Cougars scoring.
Lutheran St. Charles coach Dennis Lueck is hoping to see more of the explosive attack in the next round.
“You saw our potential today, we’ve got hitters up and down the lineup,” Lueck said.
Roach more than did his part on the mound. The sophomore righthander struck out five, walked one and allowed just three hits while improving to 8-0.
“I just tried to get ahead on the count and dominate with my fastball early,” Roach said. “I always feel pretty comfortable out on the mound. I just try to pump the strike zone because I know the defense is going to back me up and the offense showed today we can hit the ball and score runs.”