Going into their first game against New Trier, Evanston’s baseball squad was coming off a good two week run which included a three-game winning streak. Last year the Wildkits defeated the Trevians in their first matchup, 11-1, and were hoping to get the same result.
The game was played at Northwestern University’s main baseball field because the teams were rained out twice. Evanston broke open a, 3-1, lead with 4 runs in the fifth inning. Jordan Crawford and Matt Carmichael held the Trevians’ offense as the Kits defeated New Trier, 7-2.
Crawford pitched six innings, giving up only 2 runs; and Carmichael shut the door for the final three outs. New Trier got on the board in the second inning. The Kits tied it up in the top of the third when Kenny Horwat singled in Noah Doppelt (2 for 3), who got on base with a bunt single. Evanston scored twice more in the fourth behind Doppelt’s RBI single and the Trevian’s throwing error on a pickoff play. The Kits got insurance runs in the fifth behind Trevor Forde’s (2 for 4) 2-RBI single and consecutive sacrifice flies by Matt Felvey and Ameer Cannon. Evanston moved up to, 9-3, in conference play.
After the game, Forde acknowledged he is more for being a signal caller and a guy with a strong throwing arm, rather than being an offensive weapon.
“I’m a defensive guy, and those pickoffs made me feel good,” said Forde. “It’s even more satisfying because it’s always good to get a win against New Trier. They have that never-give-up-attitude, and it means a lot to beat them late in the season in a big playoff-type atmosphere, a lot more than winning a game in April.”
Head Coach Frank Consiglio also came out of the game impressed with his team’s play.
“We’re at a point now where I know this team will compete and work their tails off in every game,” said Coach Consiglio. “It was a good, quality win for us, and we didn’t come in here expecting to lose.”
The next day Evanston went to Highland Park to take on the Giants. Highland Park singled in the winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning with two outs to defeat the visiting Kits, 1-0. The Kits Justin Kleschen pitched 6 1/3 shutout innings, but the Kits’ bats were unable to provide any support. Carmichael pitched the final 1 1/3 innings to take the loss for Evanston.
The Kits looked to bounce back from that tough loss by going up against Glenbrook South in Glenview. Despite Evanston’s two first inning runs, the Titans battled back to score 3 in the third, and 1 each in the fifth and sixth innings to defeat the Kits, 5-2.. Carmichael pitched 5 1/3 innings for Evanston, giving up 7 hits and all 5 runs.
The day after their second consecutive loss, Evanston went home to take on the Trevians for the second time, but the result turned out to be much different than their first matchup. The Trevians struck first in the fourth inning with 2 runs but Evanston came back with 2 in the bottom of the inning, with RBIs from Forde and Kenny Horwat. The Trevians tacked on a run in the sixth inning, but Billy Farrow hit a big home run for the Kits to tie up the game. In a great ball game, New Trier scored twice in the top of the eleventh inning to break a, 3-3, tie to beat Evanston. The Kits had solid pitching performances from Kevin Rosinski and Jordan Crawford.
Evanston stayed home the next day to take on the Titans. Justin Kleschen pitched a complete game, allowing only four hits in shutting out the Titans. Evanston scored 5 runs in the sixht inning, and topped the Titans, 6-0, in the final home game of the season. The game was scoreless into the bottom of the fifth when Farrow hit an RBI double with two outs; and in the sixth inning Evanston was sparked by Kenny Horwat’s opposite field 2 run homerun.
In their final game of the regular season, Evanston took on Lake Zurich. The result was unfavorable for the Kits as they fell, 10-8.
Evanston now goes into the Regional round of the playoffs held at New Trier as the number two seed. They will wait to take on the winner of Maine East and Schurz. If they prevail against one of those teams, they will go on to face the winner of New Trier vs. St. Patrick in the Regional Championship game on Saturday morning, with the winner moving on to the Niles West Sectional.