Warmer weather and signs of spring mean that baseball season has arrived. This year the Wildkits will be led by first-year head coach Frank Consiglio, who was an assistant varsity coach at Morton High School before coming to Evanston this year.
“I am really happy that I will be having my first head coaching job here at Evanston. I feel like everything that I could want as a head coach is right here, so it is a great situation for me,” Consiglio said.
Many of the players seemed excited about having a new coach in the program to help Evanston baseball reach its full potential. “We’re very excited about having Coach Consiglio here at Evanston,” said senior first baseman Nick Boyer. “We had a great summer working with him, and we got used to his style of coaching, which gave us good chemistry coming into this season.”
One of the keys to Evanston’s success this year will be the play of the senior class. Consiglio said he feels his seniors have the ability to make this team a special one. “We have a very strong senior class — not just strong in talent but strong in character as well. No matter what sport you play, you have to have a strong bunch of seniors if you want to succeed, and we have that,” said Consiglio.
“A lot of us seniors have been playing baseball together since we were 7 years old,” said Boyer. “We know we have to be the leaders on and off the field and I think we have the talent and chemistry to do that.”
The Wildkits expect to rely heavily on their five-man pitching rotation, led by senior hurlers Chris Metz and Northwestern University commit Zachary Morton. The Kits will also look to seniors David Baskin, John Wagner and Colin Salee for help at the plate and in the field.
Consiglio said he expects to win a fair share of games in his first season as a head coach. “The bar is always set high coming into any season,” Consiglio said. “Every year that we compete we want to win a championship, so I do have high expectations for this team. I think the kids feel the same way as the coaching staff; we all have high goals for this team, and the players are ready to work hard and meet those expectations.”
Consiglio and the Wildkits won their March 26 season-opener at Glenbard South by a score of 9-6. Matt Rupert started for the Kits and earned the victory with four strong innings of work. Evanston then traveled to Hersey on March 29 and picked up another road victory by beating the Huskies 4-1. Noah Lieberman pitched five innings for the Wildkits, striking out seven and only giving up three hits and one earned run.
On Monday, the Wildkits headed to Lake Worth, Fla. to compete in the National Grand Slam Tournament. For the first time in the ETHS program’s history, the Kits traveled out of state to compete in a tournament.
Regardless of their performance in the prestigious event, Evanston will return on April 4 with a record of 2-0. They will look to remain undefeated as they travel to take on Mundelein High School on April 5, where first pitch is set for noon.