Loyola scored six runs in the bottom of the first inning and senior Trey Torain (pictured above) nearly hit for the cycle in the team’s 12-6 win over Maine West in the Class 4A sectional semifinal that was contested Wednesday and Thursday at Loyola.

Torain led off the first with a home run and added a triple and double. He scored two runs and had two RBIs. Senior Will Jackson finished with a homer and double, three RBIs and two runs scored. Senior Jason Vrbancic had two hits and two RBIs, while junior Jack Moran had three hits.

In addition to Jackson and Torain, senior Dan Hrvojevic and senior Johnny Mejia both hit homers.

“Everybody in our lineup is having success,” said Torain, who called his offensive performance the best of his career. “We know we can get production from Nos. 1-9.”

The No. 4-seeded Ramblers (22-9-1), owners of a seven-game winning streak, play either No. 3 Evanston or No. 7 Lane on Saturday in the sectional final. It’s Loyola first appearance in the game since 2012. The Ramblers last won a sectional title in 2008.

Junior left-hander Joe McKermitt struck out three in three innings to earn the win. Junior left-hander and right-hander Jackson pitched in relief.

“We are trying to balance having fun with focusing on what we need to do to win,” Torain said. “We are sticking to what got us here.”

Photo credit: Melissa Krein/Loyola