After struggling through early conference play, Head Coach Frank Consiglio knew his team had to step up now that seeding for the playoffs lies ahead and their quality of wins against conference foes will mean everything for their sectionals’ resume.

 First up for the Kits in a two-week gauntlet of games was Niles West at home on April 29. Although Max Siedlecki posted a strong a strong pitching performance, Evanston could not back him up on offense as they fell to a strong Wolves team, 3-2. Niles West scored once in the second inning and twice in the third and led 3-1 going into the bottom of the seventh. Evanston scored once on a two-out-RBI single by Trevor Forde. The Kits had the bases loaded, but were unable to push across the tying run. The Kits managed only four hits in the game, led by Gabe Derman who was 2 for 4.

 The next day Evanston stayed home to face Maine East. It only took one inning for the Kits’ bats to come alive, and it proved to be more than enough to give senior starting pitcher Matt Carmichael the win. They scored all seven runs in the second inning of their 7-1 win over Maine East. Kenny Howrah finished 3-for-3 with three RBIs.

 With Evanston’s CSL record at a sub-par 2-4, its cross-conference matchup against Maine West on May 2 was a virtual must-win. Behind Jordan Crawford’s pitching and a small-ball approach, they got it. Maine West jumped out with a 1-0 lead through three innings. In the bottom of the third, the Kits took a 2-1 lead on Noah Doppelt’s RBI single and Ameer Cannon’s sacrifice fly. Maine West tied the game in the fourth mostly due to Evanston errors, but Jeremias Delgado’s RBI single tied gave Evanston a 3-2 lead. Maine West once again tied the game, 3-3, in the fifth, but in the bottom of the inning, Kenny Horwat and Carmichael hit back-to-back RBI singles to give the Kits a permanent 5-3 lead. Crawford pitched five and a third strong innings, striking out seven and giving up five hits and only one earned run. Jack Anderson came on for the save, pitching 1 2/3 innings of perfect relief.

 The next day Danny Goldman and Jack Anderson combined on a three-hit, one-run pitching performance as the Kits faced Maine South. The Kits played errorless ball in the field, fueling an important CSL victory over the visitors. Goldman pitched into the fifth inning, only to be removed with no outs and runners on second and third. Anderson relieved and went to work. He got the first out on a comebacker and the second on a strikeout before issuing an intentional walk to the Hawks’ leadoff hitter to load the bases. After that walk, Anderson was perfect for the rest of the game, retiring all seven batters he faced. Offensively, after falling behind 1-0, the Kits scored twice in the fourth led by Doppelt’s RBI single. Max Siedlecki’s single in the fifth gave Evanston the lead, 3-1. Trevor Forde was 2 for 3 for the Kits.

 Evanston then went to Park Ridge to face the Hawks again last Thursday, May 5, and another close game ensued with the same result, an important Kits’ victory. Evanston bounced back with a run in the sixth inning after a five-run Maine South comeback to tie the game. Justin Kleschen relieved for the Kits in the fifth inning and recorded a key strikeout for out number three. He then pitched a scoreless sixth inning. Anderson shut the door in the seventh to save his third straight game as the Kits earned a hard-fought 6-5 victory.

 The next day, Evanston went to Niles Notre Dame for a game under the lights and kept their hot bats going with an 11-3 win.

 They followed up an impressive offensive showing with a better performance against Niles North in a slaughter-rule shortened 11-1 victory with Evanston scoring eight runs in the top of the fifth inning.

 Up next for the Kits is a home game today against Ridgewood. Then they stay home for a matchup against Waukegan tomorrow afternoon, and, on Saturday, they’re up to Deerfield to take on the Warriors that same morning. The big match up comes up next Monday when Evanston plays New Trier at home. The next day the Kits travel to Niles West and then go to Winnetka to take on the Trevians on their home field. Evanston closes out the regular season schedule by taking on Lake Zurich at home on May 21.