Evanston’s baseball team staged a 2-out rally in the bottom of the 7th inning but came up short in a 7-6 loss to Central Suburban League South division favorite New Trier Tuesday at Duke Childs Field in Winnetka.
The two teams will meet again Thursday at Northwestern University at 4:45 p.m.
Trevian closer Jack Falk struck out B.J. Johnson on a 1-2 pitch to end the game with the potential tying and winning runs on base. That dramatic strikeout came after Matt Reynolds, the No. 9 hitter in the Wildkit batting order, just missed a game-tying home run and settled for an RBI double off the left field fence that drew the Kits to within a run.
ETHS head coach Frank Consiglio took the loss in stride even though ETHS let a 5-0 lead slip away due to four costly infield errors and chalked it up to a learning experience that could pay dividends when postseason play begins.
“We do have to learn what to do to hang onto a 5-0 lead if we get one in the (state) playoffs,” Consiglio said. “But I’m not disappointed because we competed our butts off today. Our infield play has been our strength this year, but at key moments we didn’t make a couple of plays and that cost us. If we don’t make plays consistently in the infield, we won’t beat anyone. I still think the biggest lesson we take away from today is that we learned to compete.”
The three-hour contest featured a combined 24 hits, 7 errors and 2 balks and New Trier (10-3 overall, 2-0 CSL South) used five pitchers to secure the win. Evanston slipped to 11-7 overall and 1-2 in league play.
The Wildkits built a 5-0 advantage by the third inning but left 5 runners on base against the Trevian bullpen after that. Run-scoring singles by Adam Geibel (4-for-4), Johnson and Chris Brown staked ETHS starting pitcher Matt Anderson to a 3-0 advantage in the second, and singles by Jake Snider and Geibel plus a Reynolds double pushed the score to 5-0 in the third.
But Anderson couldn’t hold on. He surrendered a two-run home run to New Trier cleanup hitter Dylan Horvitz as part of a four-run third, and allowed two more runs in the fourth --- one of them on a passed ball --- before being relieved in the fifth.
New Trier tallied an unearned run in the sixth against reliever Will Peterson, and that turned out to be necessary insurance when Fletcher Brown worked a leadoff walk in the top of the seventh.
Two outs later, Reynolds rapped a double to left that plated pinch-runner Joey Chafetz. Geibel was hit by a pitch to put the winning run at first before Falk came on and retired Johnson on a check swing to end the game.
Dennis Mahoney is sports information director for ETHS.