First baseman Rigel Verciglio chatting with Austin Clark after a sharp single in the first inning of the Evanston Summer Baseball Classic.  Evanston comradery at its finest.  Notice both players smiling? Submitted photo

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Aug. 1 brought the culmination of a tremendous summer baseball season with a 7-inning thriller at James Park on a perfect night for baseball with a vocal crowd reveling in the fine play of Evanston’s fifth- and sixth-grade teams. With the scoreboard glowing in the August twilight, Evanston Red pushed 3 runs across in the 6th inning to win, 10-7, over Evanston Black.  Evanston Red and Black represented Evanston Baseball Softball Association (EBSA) in the Kenilworth-Winnetka Baseball Association against communities from the North Shore. Evanston Black had won two closely contested games against Evanston Red during the regular season, 7-6 and 5-4.

For the Summer Classic, Evanston Red brought their A game and jumped off to an early, 1-0, lead powered by Rigel Verciglio’s double in the first.  Evanston Black countered with 2 runs in the top of the third inning, hustling hard on infield hits and smart team base running. Evanston Black’s Chris Gottardi-Littell pitched the second and third innings, and struck out five batters, helping to give Evanston Black a 4-2 lead at the end of the third inning.

Evanston Red pushed 5 runs across in the fourth inning, crowned with Seamus Scott’s 2-run single to make the score 7-4.  After five innings the score stood 7-7.  Pitching for Evanston Red in the sixth inning, Theo Handley struck out the side (those batters were on base 7 of their 9 previous plate appearances). In the final inning, he ably handled a sharp line drive by Aidan McMahon to close out the game.

The winning Evanston Red struck out 14 batters (lead by Alek Piehl and Verciglio, each with 4 strike outs) while Evanston Black nearly matched the Red with 13 strike outs of their own (Austin Clark and Gottardi-Littell accounted for 10 of the Evanston Black strike outs). 

On the offensive front for the winning Evanston Red team, both Piehl and Verciglio were on base all of their plate appearances.  Evanston Black’s Clark was on base 3 out of 4 plate appearances.  Both teams pitched 4-hitters. The winning pitcher for Evanston Red was Verciglio, the save going to Handley.  Evanston Red used 5 pitchers, spreading the pitching workload on a gorgeous summer night.

The Evanston Baseball season looks to continue to Aug. 24, with the start of the fall baseball season.  Registration is open to ALL baseball players in third through eighth grade who would like to continue developing their baseball skills.  For more information visit Registration for an action packed fall season closes August 18.  and costs $60.

Joe Shlabotnik (Charlie Brown’s ill-fated baseball hero) is the pen name of John Foley.