Locals tabbed in MLB draft

  • Written by Frank Gogola

 A future major-league career may or may not be in the offing, but at least for one day some southwest suburban players drew the attention of pro baseball teams.

  Major League Baseball’s annual amateur draft took place last week and counted among the first 67 picks was Orland Park native Sam Travis. A Providence Catholic alumnus and junior at Indiana University, Travis was chosen by Boston in the second round.
  He was at his house watching the draft on the MLB Network with a few family members when he received a phone call from an area scout notifying him of the Red Sox’s intention to select him.
  “It’s a dream come true [and] I’m very excited,” Travis said. “It’s going to be very exciting to hopefully someday play in one of the most historic ballparks at Fenway.”
  Travis said he’ll forgo his senior season at IU and join the Red Sox organization. In 2011, Travis was drafted out of high school by Cincinnati in the 40th round after helping Providence place second in Class 4A, but he felt more comfortable enrolling at IU instead of turning professional.
  “At the time, I thought I needed to mature as a person and mature as a player and work on getting a good education,” Travis said. “Looking back now I don’t regret that decision.”
  The 6-foot, 210-pound first baseman was a unanimous choice as Big Ten Player of the Year this spring after batting .347 with 12 homers, 58 RBI, 55 runs and eight stolen bases in 13 attempts. Travis fielded his position at a .997 clip.

Class 4A Andrew Sectional

  • Written by Ken Karrson

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.

And then there were four

  • Written by Frank Gogola

Sandburg reaches Class 4A softball semifinals

  Before the 2014 softball season began, Sandburg senior shortstop Cierra Adamus told Lady Eagles coach Jim Fabianski she was going to help lead them to a state title.
  This past Monday Adamus did her part to ensure that her promise wasn’t hollow.
  Adamus, who began her high school career at Marian Catholic and spent some time in right field earlier this spring, rose high to snag a seventh-inning line drive and turned it into a game-ending double play by firing to second baseman Bri Soltis.


These gentlewomen are

definitely starting some engines

  (Reprinted from Sept. 22, 2011)

  Suddenly, auto racing has become intriguing.
  Once thought to be nothing but an activity for good, old Southern boys to engage in while waiting for crop harvesting time to arrive, the sport has taken on a far more metropolitan image in recent years. Steady TV airings of races certainly helped in that regard, and the arrival of Danica Patrick didn’t hurt, either.
  While she hasn’t taken the racing world by storm in an accomplishment sense just yet, the attractive Patrick made her presence known to product marketers right away. Madison Avenue, meet a primped-up Gasoline Alley.
  Since Patrick is more visually appealing than other professional drivers, it’s not surprising she’s become a spokesperson for various items, some of which are even related to her sport. As advertisers have understood for years, pretty women are a can’t-miss sales option, rivaled only by babies and small, domesticated critters.
  But while Patrick is considered the poster girl for femininity behind the wheel, she’s not the only woman in the driver’s seat. In fact, sisters Amber and Angela Cope have been parking their posteriors there since 2001.

Class 4A Reavis Sectional

  • Written by Ken Karrson

Third time no charm

Vikings upended by revenge-minded Caravan

  Third time a charm? Not for St. Laurence.
  With two victories already collected against Mt. Carmel this spring, the Vikings appeared to have a psychological edge over the Caravan when the two Chicago Catholic League rivals renewed acquaintances in last Thursday’s Class 4A Reavis Sectional semifinal. But coach Pete Lotus suspected the 16-5 and 7-3 conquests his squad recorded earlier would mean little.
  “It’s tough to beat anybody three times, especially a good team like that,” he said.
  Lotus’ words proved prophetic. Behind pitcher Nelson Munoz, Mt. Carmel squeezed out a 3-2 win that kept its hopes for a state-championship repeat intact for a couple more days and halted St. Laurence’s best campaign ever under Lotus.
  “It’s hard to think like that right now,” Lotus said, when complimented for the Vikings’ 2014 season as a whole.
  After a few moments of consideration, though, he felt differently.
  “It’s easy to sit there and look at the last game and be disappointed, but I’m very proud [of our guys],” Lotus said. “They won a lot of games and accomplished a lot. It’s tough to see those guys go.”