Catch a falling ball
Big defensive play secures Celtics’ win over Eagles
Providence Catholic turned last Wednesday’s Class 4A Andrew Sectional matchup with Sandburg into a real glove affair.
Specifically, Celtics outfielder Phil Kunsa did so with his circus grab of a sinking line drive. Instead of falling into the gap, Peter Paxinos’ hard-hit ball was speared by a diving Kunsa, who snuffed out an Eagles sixth-inning rally that had drawn them within a run.
That meant Sandburg was left to chase some more, and it never did catch up. Instead, Providence garnered an insurance marker to finalize a 5-3 victory that advanced it into last Saturday’s sectional final opposite Lincoln-Way North.
The Phoenix earned their championship-game berth by blanking Stagg 1-0 in the other semifinal last Wednesday. Lincoln-Way North’s one-run triumph was its third straight in the playoffs, following regional conquests of Shepard (3-2) and Marist (4-3).
While Kunsa’s defensive gem provided the obvious highlight, it mattered more because the Celtics (24-14) already had a lead to protect. They built most of that advantage in the third inning by plating four unearned runs off Eagles starter Sean Leland.