When Evanston Township High School’s baseball squad headed into spring break, all seemed to be fine. They were headed down to South Florida to play some ball against some good teams. It turned out that this year’s trip was their best yet under head coach Frank Consiglio, and it looks like his team is headed in the right direction.
After dropping their first game, 12-2, to Pinecrest (Fort Lauderdale), the Kits bounced back that same day and defeated Suncoast High School, 9-8.
They played their next game in Orlando against a very good St. Frances ball club from Baltimore, Md. Evanston took an early, 7-0, lead going into the bottom half of the third inning when St. Frances countered with 4 runs of their own, but the Kits hammered the squad with 5 more runs and went on to win, 12-5. Junior Matt Carmichael was the starting pitcher and threw a good four innings for the win. Junior Gabe Derman was, 2-3, from the leadoff spot with a home run and 5 RBIs, while senior Matt Felvey was, 4-4, with an RBI.
The next day the Kits took care of a good Deland, Florida team, 10-5, to cap off their very productive Florida trip.
Coach Consiglio believed he saw a lot of heart in his team, while many expected to see Evanston take a vacation down in Florida.
“We really didn’t play our game, at least the way we want to play, until our fourth game down there,” Coach Consiglio said. “But now for the first time all year I feel good about our pitching, and as a team we competed on every out. We’ve got a lot of arms, and a much better offense than the other years we went down there. Losing that first game was tough because I thought we were as good as that team, but we had a lot of defensive lapses. We missed fly balls and ground balls, and gave them five or six outs in some of those innings. You can’t do that against anyone.”
The Kits’ first game back in Illinois against Hersey was cancelled due to lightening. When they attempted to play the game on a rescheduled date, more lightening came in the fourth inning, and the teams were forced to take a tie, 2-2, into their records.
On April 6, Evanston went on the road again to take on Buffalo Grove and this time the only lightening coming from anywhere was off the Kits’ bats. Evanston had a breakout inning in the third when senior David Stillerman doubled down the right field line for an RBI. Bison pitchers then hit or walked seven straight Evanston batters leading to a big, 7-1, lead. The Kits tacked on more in the next inning with 4 runs and RBI hits from Carmichael, Derman, Ameer Cannon and Billy Farrow. Evanston cruised on by and won by an impressive, 13-3, count.
Although it seemed all the momentum was swinging Evanston’s way, their next game against Mundelein told a different story. Evanston jumped out to a quick, 3-0, lead in the first, but the Lions came back in the second and third innings with 4 runs to put them up by 1. The Kits tied the game up in the sixth, but the Lions scored another run. In the last inning, while down, 5-4, junior Mark Johnson hit a dramatic two out grand slam to put Evanston up, 8-5. But in the bottom of the inning, Wildkit’s fielding errors and timely hitting by the Lions led to a heartbreaking, 9-8, loss for Evanston.
Evanston can now forget about that loss quickly because they are coming home for most of the next two weeks. They face off against Notre Dame later this afternoon and then take on Deerfield tomorrow afternoon. They take on Niles West next week at home and then play against Loyola and Lake Zurich. The Kits are now 6-3-1, and they are hoping some home cooking at Evanston field will only give their record a better look.