After beating Notre Dame on April 11 for their fourth win in a row, the Evanston Township High School baseball team looked to make it five in a row when they took on Walter Payton Prep on April 12. The Kits did just that, prevailing by a score of 10-1.
The Kits trailed 1-0 in the top of the first after starting pitcher Chris Brown walked the first four batters he faced to allow the visitors to score. But from there, the Kits responded in a big way by scoring the next 10 runs including three run outbursts in the second, third, and fifth innings.
In addition to Chris bouncing back from a shaky first inning to strike out 10 batters over four innings to earn the victory, senior Charlie Krause went 2-for-2 with two RBI’s to lead the Kits’ attack. Seniors Jake Urdangen, Joe Snapp, and Oliver Baldwin-Edwards, along with juniors Joe Epler and Jake Snider also drove in runs for the Kits.
“This is another step. It is a nice opportunity to see some different guys be impactful. We still have a lot of figuring out to do and we are not even close to being ready for playoff time,” said head coach Frank Consiglio regarding his team’s performance against Walter Payton Prep. “But the nice thing about April is it allows you to kind of open up and see where you are at and who can do what, who can be impactful in certain situations and certain spots, who can execute and who cannot. If we continue to put the pieces together and if we execute, we will be fine.”
The Coach added, “Just to see guys like Charlie and junior Harry Porter get an opportunity and do well with it. It is easy to give a kid an opportunity, it is not easy for a kid to take advantage of that opportunity. And we saw that [against Walter Payton Prep].”
With the victory over Walter Payton Prep, the Kits improved to 9-5 overall. Regarding his team’s five game winning streak, which included victories over DePaul, Lincoln Park, Lake Forest, Notre Dame, and Walter Payton Prep, Coach Consiglio said with a laugh, “It feels better than a five game losing streak. But it is one of those things where in any sport, at any level, if you are not consistent and do not take approaches to be as consistent as possible, you are not going to put together a streak.” Coach Consiglio continued, “But it is a good sign when your team is able to win over a period of time because that means that what you are doing is working and you are doing it on a daily basis. But I do not read too much into that because for me it is that winning streak in May that counts.”
The Kits took on Highland Park and Hersey on April 15. Against Highland Park, the Kits winning streak was unfortunately snapped, as they fell by a score of 9-3. But just hours after that game, the Kits got back in the win column as they beat Hersey by a score of 7-3.
On April 17, the Kits beat Maine West, 8-0, at home. Four pitchers contributed to the shut-out, allowing only five hits and striking out 10 batters.
The Kits subsequently lost, 7-6, to New Trier on April 18. With two outs in the ninth, the Kits rallied and scored one run. They were shut down, though, with the tying and winning runners left on the bases.
After the New Trier game, the Kits record improved to 11-7 overall. They were scheduled to play Glenbrook North last night after this paper went to press.
When asked how he felt the season is going so far, Coach Consiglio said, “Good. The kids are buying in. There are a lot of good kids, [it is a] high-character team. They understand it is a very competitive atmosphere. That is our culture here and they are starting to understand how they have to perform and prepare to work within the culture and it is fun to watch.”
Regarding what the keys to success are for the rest of the season, Coach Consiglio indicated the importance of not looking ahead and just focusing on the next inning. “It is really [just taking] a small picture mindset. If you start thinking big picture, if you start thinking about the rest of the way, if you start thinking about anything but the next inning, we get in trouble with that,” the Coach explained. “So for us, it is just, what are you going to get better at today, what is our identity, and I am still searching for that. We are trying to put the pieces together here but what is our identity as a team and we need to figure [that] out and [once we do], we will be fine.”
Next up, the Kits were set to take on archrival New Trier on April 20 followed by a double- header at Buffalo Grove on April 22.