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St. Laurence beats Providence in Illinois HS 2011 April 23 St. Laurence beats Providence in Illinois HS 2011 April 23

St. Laurence catcher Bryan Villanova provided on-field exceitement by hitting a grand slam home run to propell the St. Laurence Vikings to an 8-5 victory over Niumber 1 ranked Providence High School.

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Chicago Area High School Baseball  

St. Laurence catcher Bryan Villanova providence blasted a bases loaded homer  to propell the St. Laurence Vikings to an 8-5 victory over Chicago area's Niumber 1 ranked Providence High School.

On Saturday , April 23, 2011,  the senior hit a grand slam and another hit in 4 at bats with 6 RBI to lift No. 8 St. Laurence to an 8-5 win over No. 1 Providence, its first loss of the season.

"My mom has been on me to hit better," Villanova said. "So hopefully this gets her off me."

With Providence leading 5-4 in the sixth inning, St. Laurence loaded the bases. Bryan Villanova lifted a deep fly to dead center that cleared the fence with plenty of room. The bases loaded home run gave the Vikings (15-3) a win in the Catholic League.

The Providence Celtics (13-1) pitcher Brandon Magallones, a senior Northwestern recruit, had a 2-1 lead heading into the bottom of the fifth inning when Bryan Villanova doubled in a pair of runs to put St. Laurence ahead 3-2. Cristian Ochoa replaced Brandon Magallones and inherited the bases loaded and Villanova at the plate with two outs in the sixth inning.

"Brandon Magallones took us into the sixth inning, and we have a lot of confidence in him," Providence coach Mark Smith said. "He lost it a little bit late and let a few guys reach base, and their guy hits a grand slam. What are you going to do?"

St. Laurence pitcher Charlie Naso improved to 2-0 with the win. He pitched seven innings, giving up five runs on seven hits while striking out six batters.
Mike Solofra of Providence and Zak Kutsulis of Providence also hit homers.

Providence led 1-0 before Vikings left fielder Mike Solofra hit a solo home run to tie the game in the third inning. Zak Kutsulis gave Providence a 2-1 lead with a solo home run in the fifth inning. Celtics shortstop Joe Houlihan drove in two runs during a three-run sixth inning before St. Laurence ended the game with five unanswered runs.

"No one is going to go undefeated. That was never the goal," Smith said. "Now it's about character. We'll see how we respond."

The teams meet again Monday at Providence.

Player of the game: Bryan Villanova, St. Laurence, 2-for-4, 2B, HR, 6 RBIs.

Key performers: St. Laurence — Charlie Naso, 7 IP, 5 R, 7 H, 6 SO; Providence — Joe Houlihan, 2-for-3, 2 RBIs. 

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