After a disappointing, 12-20, record last season, Coach Frank Consiglio has confidence in this year’s baseball team and expects them to do much better.
“I look at last year as preparation for this year. It was a rough year, no doubt about it,” Coach Consiglio said. “It’s hard to have a good year unless you can roll off five or six or seven or eight wins in a row, instead of constantly taking one step forward and one step back.”
Three years ago, Coach Consiglio started Evanston’s own American Legion baseball program so future varsity players would get to play ball competitively during the summer. The Coach hopes this extra playing time will pay off.
“These guys are way more ready for the varsity than when I first started here,” Coach Consiglio said. “They have so much game experience now against solid competition. No one plays more games than we do. These juniors have played close to 100 games the last two summers and now everyone on our roster can help us somewhere.”
Another good thing Evanston fans can look forward to are three good pitching arms at the top of the rotation. Senior Greg Otte comes off of an exceptional junior year and looks to be the ace of the staff. Joining Otte in the Kits’ 1-2-3 punch is fellow senior Kevin Rosinski and junior Matt Carmichael. Consiglio thinks these three young men can anchor their whole pitching rotation.
“Greg did a great job for us and was all-conference last year,” said Coach Consiglio. “But Matt could be our best pitcher, and Kevin had the best summer of development as far as anyone on the staff. Put them all together and you’ve really got something.
“Greg’s pitches move all over the place and he can beat anyone on a given day. Rosinski has dedicated himself and now he has a second pitch and Carmichael can throw a couple of pitches for strikes,” said the Coach.
Although the starters are strong, some questions may lie in the bullpen where seniors Josh Channin, Sam Mendelson and Sean Kincaid will be available to step in to pitch good relief along with juniors Dan Goldman and Justin Kieschen.
Offensively for Evanston, many are curious how the Blue Monster in left field will be challenged due to the Kits’ lack of batting power. Senior first baseman Billy Farrow will be expected to bring most of the power, and the other Evanston hitters might have to just manufacture runs this season.
“I think we’ll be more versatile one through nine and more consistent this year,” said Coach Consiglio. “Offensively we’ve got some things to prove, but I think the potential is there.”
Evanston played their opening game last week against Oak Park/River Forest. The Kits did not get off to a good start. Otte started the game but was roughed up early on as Oak Park scored 2 runs in the first inning. The Kits scored 3 of their own in the second, but lost their lead when the Huskies scored 2 more in the bottom half. After 3 runs in the next inning along with 5 in the fourth, Oak Park cruised to a, 12-6, win.
Last Saturday, the Kits traveled to Northeastern Illinois University last to take on Von Stueben in a double-header. The first game was tied, 3-3, in the sixth inning when Nathan Clarke, in his first at-bat in a varsity game, singled home Aidan Murphy. Evanston then scored 5 times in the seventh to open up their lead and eventually win, 10-3. Carmichael picked up the win, pitching a solid five innings.
In the second game, Evanston started slow, going down, 4-0, and then, 5-3, through five innings. They eventually came back, though, with 2 runs, sending the game to extras innings where the Kits scored 3 times in the ninth to pick up a, 9-6, win.
Evanston will now spend their spring break in South Florida taking on Florida’s finest squads in the National Grand Slam Tournament. Back home they will face Hersey on April 3, then travel to Buffalo Grove on April 6 and finish off their week in Mundelein. The Kits are, 2-1, and look to carry the momentum they have to Miami and bring some swagger back to Evanston.