By Brad Spencer
The OPRF baseball team dispatched Fox Lake's Grant 8-2 in the Class 4A State semifinals today at Silver Cross Field in Joliet and will take on West Suburban (Silver) Conference rival Lyons Township on Saturday (5 p.m.) in for the state championship.
Six hits through five innings produced five runs for the Huskies (30-9-1), who were last in the title game in 2008 when they finished runner-up.
Alex Rice singled to right-center to open the scoring for OPRF in the first inning. Jack Picchiotti scored on a throwing error to give the Huskies an early 2-0 lead. OPRF scored one in the third on a sacrifice fly by Mike Brennan.
In the fourth, Nick Kowalczuk drove in two runs with a single to left field. Charlie Fencik drove in Brennan on an infield hit in the fifth.
Pitcher Joe McKune held Grant to just five hits in a complete game effort.
Zachary Weigel will take the mound for the Huskies in the title game on Saturday. Weigel went 6-1 with an ERA of 1.71 during the regular season. He led the Huskies with 57 strikeouts.
OPRF last won a state title in 1981 under legendary coach Jack Kaiser. OPRF coach Chris Ledbetter, currently in his 12th season, has now coached the Huskies to four state final appearances, including three state championship appearances.
Lyons, the defending state champs, downed Minooka 6-2 in the other semifinal. OPRF went 1-2 against the defending state champ Lions (27-12-1) during the regular season.