Going into their May 12 game against Waukegan, head coach Frank Consiglio’s team was on a roll, having won seven straight games. The Kits seemed to have everything in tune just in time for some of their biggest games in the last few weeks of the regular season.
Evanston blanked Waukegan 11-0 in a Central Suburban League South game for its eighth win in a row.
Evanston built a 5-0 lead before exploding for six runs in the sixth inning, four of them coming with two outs, including Kenny Horwat’s solo home run over the Blue Monster. It was his seventh homer of the season.
Matt Carmichael (2 for 3) and Mia Delgado (3 for 3) both singled before Connor Hackett hit his first career home run to end the game.
Starting pitcher Jordan Crawford gave up only three hits in 5 1/3 innings.
Two days later, the Kits took their hot bats to Deerfield, but it was their pitching that let them down late in the game. Kenny Horwat and Trevor Forde’s offense helped Evanston to a 9-0 lead. The Warriors got a run in the bottom of the fourth with an RBI single by Ben Browdy. Evanston then got a run back in the top of the sixth to make it 10-1, which seemed like a comfortable lead at the time.
Deerfield started the bottom of the sixth with Landon Cohen hitting a three-run home run to make it a 10-4 game. After a few more extra base hits and a couple of Evanston pitching changes, the lead was down to 10-6. Warriors shortstop Andrew Goldstick then hit a 2-run home run to cut Deerfield’s deficit to two runs.
Later in the game, Deerfield’s senior center fielder Ryan Adkins then added an RBI single to make it 10-9. The Kits finally stopped the bleeding by forcing a groundout to end the inning.
In the final inning, Evanston failed to score an insurance run, giving a hot Deerfield squad a chance. The Warriors led off the inning with a double and Jon Smirles drove in the run that tied the game. The final at-bat in the Kits’ dismal afternoon was Deerfield’s third baseman Jake Kaplan. He drove in Smirles with an RBI double to give his team an 11-10 win.
After a tough loss, Evanston returned on May 16 to face their arch-rival New Trier. This time the Kits looked as if they were the ones not ready to quit in the final stages.
Evanston came up just short, though, losing to New Trier 9-8 despite a six-run rally from a 9-2 deficit. Sophomore Alex Vergara had a big day going 2 for 3 with a homerun, double and four RBIs. Relievers Matt Munro and Jack Anderson held the Trevians scoreless over the final three innings as the Kits mounted their comeback.
New Trier jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the top of the first, but Evanston fought back with Vergara’s two-run homer in the bottom of the inning. New Trier scored once in the fourth and four more in the fifth to take a 9-2 lead. The Kits countered with five more runs in the bottom of the fifth, keyed by Vergara’s two-run double and pinch hitter Connor Hackett’s two-run single. Horwat singled in another run in the sixth to make the score 9-8. In the bottom of the seventh, Evanston had runners on first and third with two outs but was unable to get a run across.
After losing a close 3-2 encounter to Niles West earlier this season, Evanston got revenge on May 17 by pounding the Wolves, 11-2, behind a complete game-pitching performance from Justin Kleschen. Kleschen went the full seven innings, giving up two runs with nine strikeouts. The Kits took the lead in the second inning when Noah Doppelt singled in Max Siedlecki, who had reached base on a single and was advanced to second on Connor Hackett’s sacrifice bunt. The game stayed 1-0 until the fifth inning when the Kits scored three runs, keyed by Hackett’s RBI single. Evanston added five more runs in that inning, highlighted by Ameer Cannon’s three-run double. The Kits tacked on two more in the seventh, making the final score 11-2.
On May 18, Evanston lost a tough game to New Trier. The Trevians’ pitchers gave up only four hits in a 2-0 shutout of the Kits.
The Kits went out the next day and traveled to Maine West where they picked up the 4-3 victory. Evanston returned home on May 21 for a game against the Lake Zurich Bears, who took the close contest with a 3-2 win.
Evanston now heads into its regional games at home, starting tomorrow afternoon against Maine South. If the Kits win, they will play again Saturday afternoon against either Glenbrook North or Schurz for the regional title and the right to play in the Glenbrook South sectionals starting on June 2.