After beating Highland Park on April 16 for its second victory in a row, the Evanston Township High School baseball team hoped to make it three in a row against Central Suburban League Conference foe Glenbrook North on April 17.
Unfortunately the Wildkits fell by a score of 9-3. In that game, after the Spartans tallied three runs off junior starting pitcher James Allen in the top of the third, the Kits answered with three runs of their own as a result of RBI singles from seniors Jackson Mihevc and Jack Blanchard, along with an RBI fielders’ choice grounder from senior Marty Fenn that tied the game at 3-3.
In the fourth, neither team was able to score. But from then on, the wheels fell off as the Kits allowed two runs in each of the next three innings while their bats were held in check as the Spartans took the lead and the game by a score of 9-3.
“I do not think we made mistakes, [but] they hit a little bit better than us,” said manager Frank Consiglio. “They were on base 17 times to our five and in high school baseball if you are on base more than the other team and your contact percentage is higher than the other team, generally you win.” He added, “It was a little disappointing when we got it 3-3 [and] in the fifth I thought we had them where we wanted them, but it is a credit to them.They did a nice job.”
Regarding Allen’s performance, Consiglio said, “James was nice. He did a good job. He had to throw a lot of pitches. He threw 80 pitches over four-plus innings. So we thought he was a little bit empty [when he was taken out of the game with one out in the top of the fifth]. But they do such a good job of working [the count] deep, so it is tough.”
The Coach added, “After the third, we [both] put a zero up in the fourth, so [with] both zeros [the score was] 3-3, then like I said they hit the ball. They had eight hits in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings [combined]. So when they make those plays and do that, it is tough to beat. I mean they outhit us today and that is the moral of the story.”
With the loss, the Kits overall record fell to 10-3-1. Being well above .500 pleases Consiglio, but the Coach says the key is responding. “[The season is going] really well. We have not lost two in a row, so we will see how we respond. It is all about how you respond the next day, so I will see what we do [moving forward] to get better.”
Unfortunately, the Kits lost again, falling to Libertyville 6-1 on April 19. In that game the Kits could muster only four hits, all of which were singles, as the team fell to 10-4-1 overall. The Kits scored their run in the third inning when sophomore Charlie Maxwell walked and scored on singles by Blanchard and senior Eli Otting.
Heading into the final month of the season, Consiglio says the keys to success the rest of the way include staying focused and having the right mindset everyday. “[The keys include] senior leadership and just making sure these guys stay focused and are able to see the day-to-day grind and understand what that consists of,” said Consiglio. “Instead of thinking big picture, and thinking about all these different things, just think about what you have to do today. If they stay with that mindset, I think we will be fine.”
The Kits looked to get back into the win column as they were set to visit Maine West on April 21 and Glenbrook South on April 22. Then they return to Evanston to finish the home-and-home series with Glenbrook South on April 24 followed by a visit to Maine East on April 28 and Niles West the next day.