It was a very special Senior Day for the Evanston Wildkit Varsity baseball team on a beautiful afternoon Wednesday in front of a packed house at Evanston Stadium.
The Kits rallied back twice from 3 run deficits to finally take a 7-6 lead in the bottom of the sixth inning. Closer James Hageman induced a 1-6-3 double play to end the game and the Kits second straight victory, this one over CSL South champion and state ranked Glenbrook South.
The Kits fell behind 3-0 into the bottom of the 4th. In that inning, Eli Otting and Chris Rudnicki started a one out rally with base hits. Then, Mackenzie O’Neil hit a ball deep to left center field plating 2 runs. O’Neil took third on the play at the plate and scored on a GBS overthrow to tie the game 3-3. The Titans responded in the top of the 5th with 3 runs of their own to take a 6-3 lead. In the bottom of the 5th, the Kits pulled 1 run closer when Otting’s single scored Alex Vergara.
In the bottom of the sixth, Jack Blanchard started the inning off with a double down the left field line. Eli Miller was hit by a pitch and Cooper Powell moved both runners up to 2nd and 3rd with a fake-bunt-slash grounder to 2nd. Vergara reached on a slow roller to third base and a wild throw scored both Blanchard and pinch runner Martin Fenn to tie the game. Julian Gonzalez delivered the game winning blow with a double to left field.
It was Senior Day at the park and there were many contributions from the class of 2013. Miles Shatkin earned his 4th win gutting out 6 innings of work on the mound. Closer James Hageman got his sixth save. Julian Gonzalez delivered the game winning hit. Eli Miller was 1 for 1 and reached base 3 times and threw out 2 runners trying to steal and picked a runner off 2nd base with no out in the 7th inning. Cooper Powell and Chris Rudnicki both had hits. Kevin Kleschen made plays and 2nd base. Brandon Vamarasi made catches in centerfield provided leadership. Alex Vergara was the sparkplug as usual with his hitting and baserunning. Pitchers Hunter Bailey and Charlie Binford did not pitch but have contributed in key roles all season. Overall a very special day for Wildkit seniors and their families.
Evanston is now 21-12 and finished 8-8 in the CSL. They play at Niles North in a CSL crossover game today.