JOLIET - Lemont gave up the early lead in the third, then used the middle three inning to score all of their runs to defeat Highland 6-3 in the IHSA Class 3A state baseball semifinals Friday afternoon at Duly Health and Care Field in Jolliet.

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The Bulldogs dropped their first game since May 18, a 4-3 loss to Waterloo at home, and will be playing for third place Saturday morning on the final day of the IHSA sporting year.

Highland got on the board first on back-to-back leadoff walks to Zane Korte and Jake Ottensmeier, who both were sacrificed along on a great bunt by Trey Koisor. Chase Knebel then grounded to third, where Ottensmeier was thrown out, bu Korte scoring to put the Bulldogs up 1-0.

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Lemont countered in the top of the fourth to go ahead 3-1. It started with one out, with Matt Devoy and Shea Glotzbach were both hit by pitches, with both scoring on on a two-RBI triple by Brett Tucker that score both Devoy and Glotzbach to make it 2-1 for Lemont. Nick Berardi then singled home Tucker to up the lead to 3-1.


With one out in the top of the fifth, back-to-back singles by Noah Tomaras and Jacob Parr put runners on second and third when Devoy's sacrifice fly to center increase the lead to 4-1. Then, with one out in the sixth, Berardo reached on an error by the third baseman, and one out later, a fly ball single by Max Michalak scored Andrew Phelan and Berardi to give Lemont a 6-1 lead.

Deklan Riggs and Braxton Bircher opened the HIghland sixth with back-to-back walks, with Adam Munie loading the bases with a single to right. Korte's sacrifice fly to center scored pinch runner Blake Gelly, and Bircher scored when Ottensmeier reached on an error to make it 6-3. Lemont buckled down and retired the side in the sixth and seventh to win and move on to the final.

Knebel went all he way on the mound, allowing six runs, five earned, on eight hits, striking out five.

Lemont is now 31-9, while the Bulldogs go to 32-7-1, and will play Morris who lost to Crystal Lake Central in the first semifinal 5-2, in the third place game Saturday morning at 10 a.m. Lemont and Central play in the grand final at 1 p.m.

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