With the Regional match-ups to start the annual IHSA playoffs only a day away for the Wildkit baseball team, Coach Frank Consiglio’s squad has been trying to build momentum these past weeks.
Evanston is now 12-18. Although they picked up a few big wins throughout the season, a lot of games have slipped away due to a lack of hitting or on some days, lack of pitching. All of those factors have added up to a disappointing regular season. The Kits want to finish up with a strong playoff run.
The stretch run of the season came against Glenbrook South at home on May 12 with junior ace of the pitching staff Greg Otte taking the mound. He delivered once again. The game was slow throughout the first three innings but in the top of the third, the Spartans scraped across a run putting them up 1-0. Later in the sixth inning, sophomore Mark Johnson singled to start the Kits off with one out. Junior Matt Felvey bunted Johnson to second base to make it two outs, and then a wild pitch moved him over to third. Senior Morgan Fitzpatrick then walked and pulled off a steal of second base bringing up Richie Foreman, who then drove in two runs with a clutch single to put Evanston up 2-1 going into the seventh and final inning. Otte then retired the final three Spartan batters for another complete game and a big win in conference play.
Two days later, Evanston played against the Spartans on their home field; and for the first time in a long time, Evanston got two quality starts in a row. Junior Sean Kincaid stepped up and pitched four plus innings for a solid outing. Evanston also threw in some good offense, especially junior Billy Farrow who went 4-4 with three doubles to lead the sluggers. The defense also stepped up, getting solid fielding along with some timely double plays, including one turned by Davide Harris when the Spartans threatened in the fifth inning with the bases loaded. Kincaid was backed up by junior reliever Sam Mendelson who pitched a solid 2 2/3 innings to close out a 6-0 victory.
Coach Consiglio feels his pitching staff’s consistency has been a problem and can do great things for them in the near future. “One of the reasons we have so many losses is that we haven’t had many good quality starts in a row like that,” Consiglio said. “We stole a game against GBS on Tuesday, but today we beat them in every facet of the game. Our young pitchers are starting to learn and I think we’re starting to play good baseball at the right time.”
Another two days after the win, the Kits traveled to Niles North to take on the Vikings in an early Saturday morning contest. Early on, the Vikings took advantage of errors by Evanston and turned them into quick runs. Evanston took an early 4-0 lead in the first inning but Niles North came back in the bottom half with four of their own. Junior starter Kevin Rosinski pitched a solid game himself but the Kits’ defense did not help him out much, giving up five errors. In the fourth inning, after an infield error, the Vikings hit a three run homer to put them up 7-4. Evanston scratched across one more run in the sixth but eventually fell 7-5 in a sluggish game.
The next week, Evanston took on Niles West twice in the span of three days. The first game was a blowout, with the Kits losing 13-4; and the second game in Skokie was a bit closer but the Kits still were defeated 8-6.
A small sigh of relief came last Friday under the lights in Niles when Evanston took on Notre Dame. Again, Sean Kincaid had a good start, pitching five innings of one run ball. Senior Sean Witt started the offense and the game off with a double and eventually scored in a three-run inning. The Kits then jumped on Notre Dame again for four more runs, eventually winning 8-3.
Next for Evanston is Niles North in the opening game in the class 4A playoffs. Evanston will be looking for revenge against the Vikings and have more a reason to beat them because the Kits will play Regionals in Evanston‘s stadium. If Evanston prevails, they will play on Saturday against Loyola to try and make it to Sectionals in Glenview.