Northlake Christian’s three-tiered season goal chart is down to one remaining objective.
The Wolverines have easily surpassed the 20-win plateau and checked off another box Wednesday night on the road in dramatic fashion.
Senior Maverick Latour broke a 4-all tie in the top of the seventh with a run-scoring double, and the Spring Hill signee retired The Dunham School in order in the bottom half, leading sixth-seeded Northlake Christian to a 5-4 victory in a Class 2A state regional playoff game.
“Obviously the next one (goal) is to win state,” second-year Northlake coach Chad Catalano said. “We’ve still got three games ahead of us. I’m proud of them. They’re something special.”
Northlake Christian (23-10 )advances to its first quarterfinal in four years where they’ll travel to Oak Grove, an 11-6 winner over Redemptorist.
Northlake jumped out to a 3-0 lead through three innings and tacked on another run in fourth for a 4-1 advantage.
Logan Stevens and Ruston West ignited the two-run first inning, reaching on an error and hit by pitch, when starting pitcher Sean Tweedy delivered a 2-run single to left-center field.
Dunham starter Alec Duhe walked two with two outs, and Stevens made him pay with a run-scoring single up the middle.
Tweety kept Dunham’s offense under wraps, facing just two over the minimum batters through three innings but stranded both runners. He allowed his first hit to Duhe — a lead-off double in the fourth —and his courtesy runner Quincy Moreaux scored on Jon-Austin Volland’s single to right.
Northlake turned its second double play to get out of the fifth. But Tweedy ran into trouble in the sixth and was lifted in favor of Latour.
A lead-off error opened the door and Volland, who was 2-for-3, tripled to the gap in left-center with two runners aboard. The Tigers tied the game one batter later on Tyler Price’s RBI single up the middle and Latour was summoned to the mound.
Tweedy allowed seven hits, four runs (one earned), walked two and struck out eight in his 115-pitch outing.
“He’s tough but when those guys start getting around to the second and third time, they’ve already seen him and that’s when we can’t make mistakes and hit our corners,” Catalano said. “We made one mistake, and Dunham capitalized on it.”
West’s one-out single in the seventh was the first hit for Northlake since the second inning. Latour followed and drove the first pitch from Dunham reliever Ben Marmande into the gap in right-center field to score West from first base.
“I got the hit, and when I got on base I had the chills,” Latour said. “When I went into close, I knew they weren’t beating us.”