Somebody's missing the boat here. What's not to like about Grayslake Central catcher Kristian Meehan? After all, the senior cleanup hitter set a school record for RBIs this season with 55. On the final day of baseball on Monday, he was perfect at the plate with three hits including a double.
Meehan and his teammates concluded an improbable 30-win season with a 7-2 loss to Nazareth. Now it's time to find a college for the hard-hitting catcher. It seems no one is knocking on his door just yet so Meehan may go the community college route.
In the meantime, he can look back at team that won a conference, regional and sectional titles.
"I'm going to miss this bunch,'' Meehan said. "I've been playing with them since I was 5-years-old. We won 30 games because our pitching kept us in games. We had timely hits."
This looked to be a low-scoring affair. Left-handed pitcher Christian Edwards took two-hit shutout to the fourth inning. He did not survive the fourth as a few singles skipped through the Central infield. It was a four-run fourth inning.
"Christian was outstanding,'' said Central coach Troy Whalen. "It wasn't a day for the Rams. When you get this far, you need to have some luck."
When Whalen came to camp this spring he had no idea that this team would be so successful.
"I'm very proud of this group that won 30 games,'' he said. "This will hurt for a while but they will all be OK."
Meehan had nothing bad to say about the team that beat his Rams on Monday.
"They got all the breaks,'' he said. "But they are a very good team. I'd like to see them win state."
Meehan made it clear it was all about the team this season. But it's clear his bat was an important part of the Rams success this spring.
"I had a pretty good year,'' he said. "Coach Tony Tichy and I set some goals for myself in preseason. But it wasn't about one person, it was about the team."
Edwards almost escaped that fourth inning unscathed. Nazareth had four hits without scoring a run. The major reason for this was a gorgeous throw from center fielder Nick Hosford to Meehan that nailed a runner at the plate.
Despite being four runs down, the Rams (30-10) charged back in the bottom half of the inning. Meehan and Ryan Fontana laced opposite field hits to right field with two outs. Despite loading the bases, Central was unable to score. Two Nazareth went up in the sixth inning and this time, the Rams answered back.
Jon Gurchak and Meehan ripped back to back doubles as Central finally dented the scoreboard. Sean Boban's hit up the middle scored the second run.
The Rams graduate seven of the nine hitters in Monday's lineup. That includes leadoff hitter Hosford, Ryan Hamrick, Gurchak, Meehan, Boban, Jay Kleinofen and Brett Muhr. Also in the senior class is star pitcher Mark Ash, Brian Karol, Mike Wiggins, Edwards and Billy Weinert.