Home News Lucas Acevedo lifts Lincoln-Way West past Central

Lucas Acevedo lifts Lincoln-Way West past Central

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In an age of specialization, Lincoln-Way West’s Lucas Acevedo refuses to stay in just one lane.

Acevedo, a junior who is committed to Illinois-Chicago, is the Warriors’ leadoff hitter, one of their top pitchers and the shortstop on days he isn’t on the mound.

He wouldn’t have it any other way.

“There are so many ‘POs’ (pitchers only) these days, and I feel like I benefit personally from being able to hit and seeing what the umpire is calling, then getting back on the mound and seeing what’s working,” Acevedo said. “It helps me being able to see both sides of the ball like that.

“It’s like a Division I wide receiver also playing cornerback in football. You’re able to read both the offense and defense.”

The do-it-all star did his best work on the mound Wednesday, allowing just two runs over 5 1/3 innings to lead Lincoln-Way West to a 5-2 win over Lincoln-Way Central in a Class 4A Providence Sectional semifinal in New Lenox.

Wisconsin-Platteville recruit Anthony Massa went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a run for the Warriors (30-4), while Kansas State commit Conor Essenburg added a two-run single and Josh Howard finished 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run.

Top-seeded Lincoln-Way West plays at 11 a.m. Saturday in the sectional championship game against second-seeded Providence (29-8), a 5-1 winner over Andrew. The Celtics beat the Warriors 3-1 on May 11.

Lincoln-Way West's Lucas Acevedo (5) throws a pitch during the Class 4A Providence Sectional semifinal against Lincoln-Way Central in New Lenox on Wednesday, May 29, 2024. (Troy Stolt/for the Daily Southtown)
Lincoln-Way West’s Lucas Acevedo (5) throws a pitch against Lincoln-Way Central during the Class 4A Providence Sectional semifinals in New Lenox on Wednesday, May 29, 2024. (Troy Stolt / Daily Southtown)

Roosevelt recruit Kyle Maslan allowed only two earned runs on just one hit over four innings for fourth-seeded Lincoln-Way Central (24-7), which had a 13-game winning streak snapped.

Toledo commit Liam Arsich and South Suburban College recruit Collin Senkpeil each singled and scored a run for the Knights, while Luke Tingley drove in a run with a sacrifice fly.

Acevedo helped turn the tables on the Warriors’ crosstown rival after Lincoln-Way Central beat the them twice in the regular season, including a game that Acevedo started on the mound.

“They hit me pretty well last time, but I knew if I came back ready to pitch and pitched the way I know I can, we were going to come out on top,” Acevedo said. “This time, I feel like I was a little more aggressive.

“I wasn’t afraid of anyone. I went out and attacked every hitter, and I knew I could get them out.”

Lincoln-Way West's Connor Essenburg (8) celebrates with his teammates after getting an out during the Class 4A Providence Sectional semifinal against Lincoln-Way Central in New Lenox on Wednesday, May 29, 2024. (Troy Stolt/for the Daily Southtown)
Lincoln-Way West’s Connor Essenburg (8) celebrates with his teammates against Lincoln-Way Central during the Class 4A Providence Sectional semifinals in New Lenox on Wednesday, May 29, 2024. (Troy Stolt / Daily Southtown)

Lincoln-Way West coach Jake Zajc knows he can rely on Acevedo to do whatever is needed.

“We have a few two-way guys,” Zajc said. “You mix and manage. It’s a touchy thing, managing their arms and making sure they’re ready to go. But they do a good job with it. Lucas has been pretty steady all year.”

Maslan was working on a no-hitter with two outs in the fourth when Massa blooped a soft liner into right field for a two-run single that gave the Warriors a 2-1 lead and sparked a turnaround.

“That was huge,” Massa said. “I was just trying to do my job and put the ball in play, and it worked out for us.”

Lincoln-Way West's Anthony Massa (9) takes a pitch during the Class 4A Providence Sectional semifinal against Lincoln-Way Central in New Lenox on Wednesday, May 29, 2024. (Troy Stolt/for the Daily Southtown)
Lincoln-Way West’s Anthony Massa (9) takes a pitch against Lincoln-Way Central during the Class 4A Providence Sectional semifinals in New Lenox on Wednesday, May 29, 2024. (Troy Stolt / Daily Southtown)

After taking the lead, Massa was confident Acevedo would take care of the rest.

“Lucas was doing really good hitting his spots, getting ahead in counts and really mowing them down,” Massa said. “We’re confident in him. We have trust in him. He’s really good, so we’re not worried when he’s out there.”

Acevedo plans to remain a two-way player in college.

“I imagine the biggest challenge at that level will be the workload,” he said. “As a hitter, you’ve got to get in the cage every day. As a pitcher, you’ve got to get your bullpens every couple days. You’ve got to do some running.

“But I’m willing to put the work in no matter what.”



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