Lane Takes Home Baseball City Championship
SPORTS | June 8, 2022
Lane Takes Home Baseball City Championship

By Michael Wojtychiw

Josh Katz knew he only had a couple pitches left in him. Katz, the right-handed Lane ace, was cruising along into the seventh inning of Monday’s Chicago Public League baseball city championship game when he hit a bump in the road in the top of the seventh.

After allowing only three hits through six innings, Katz, with his team leading 2-0 and three outs away from a city title, walked the first batter, five-hole hitter Andy Ayala. Two steals later and the Eagles had only their second runner on third base all day.

A single by Amir Faulkner, his second on the day, brought the run home and it was 2-1 Lane. 

In the meantime Katz had broken the 100-pitch mark, a career-high. His 114th pitch of the game? A groundout to third base and the celebration was on for Lane at Wrigley Field.

“I thought I was coming out to be honest,” Katz said after a couple Brooks players got on base in the seventh inning. “I threw six pitches in our semifinal game last Wednesday, so I wasn’t fully rested, but I wanted this more than anyone.

“I probably had about five (pitches left) maybe. It felt good to be able to close it out.”

Much like Katz, Brooks starter Ryan Little was keeping Lane’s bats at bay for the most part, only allowing two hits through three innings.

Then things got a little shaky in the fourth inning.

Nick Lagges walked with one out and moved over to second when Carter Dow walked. Lagges then used a little trickery on the basepaths when Jack Tzur grounded out to the second baseman. 

Instead of just advancing to third, he kept going towards home, forcing the Brooks first baseman to make an errant throw to the plate, allowing Lagges to score.

The win was extra special for the Lane seniors, who lost in the quarterfinals of last season’s city tournament. So winning the city title this year got that bad taste out of their mouths.

“To be able to win city, especially at Wrigley Field, is great,” Katz said.

“For the team, a few of us were on the team last year and we understood what it took to get here,” Lagges said. “We lost in the quarterfinals last year and that was a feeling we couldn’t have again. We just made a promise to each other and we’d do whatever it took to make it happen.