Spectacular comeback lifts Maine South
Down 9-0 in top of one, Hawks come all the way back to stun New Trier 10-9 in wild CSL South battle
Last updated 5/26/2021 at 10:37pm
Charity was on full display in Wednesday's Central Suburban League South battle between the CSL South co-leaders from Maine South and their arch rivals from New Trier.
On Tuesday at historic Duke Childs Field in Winnetka, Maine South (19-11, 11-4) scored five times in the top of the first and went on to crush the rival Trevians 11-1 in six innings.
On Wednesday in Park Ridge, in the top of the first inning, New Trier (18-11, 9-6) scored nine runs on just four hits to open a seemingly insurmountable 9-0 lead after 1/2 inning.
Three Maine South miscues led to five unearned runs against Maine South starting pitcher Will Meyer (1/3IP, 6R, 2H,1ER,0K 2BB).
The Trevians nine-run first inning was highlighted by a two-run homer from senior catcher Alex Calarco (2-for-2, HR, 2RBI, HBP, BB) off of Hawk junior reliever Leo Corbett.
The resilient Hawks came all the way back with a little help from the charitable Trevians.
Corbett would keep the Trevians off the scoreboard in the second and third inning.
In the bottom of the third inning, Hawks senior shortstop and team leader Timmy O'Brien (3-for-4, HR, 4RBI) hammered a three-run bomb over the right field fence to pull the Hawks within 9-3.
Scoring on the third home run for O'Brien in 2021 was sophomore Kerim Orucevic (1-for-3,BB) who walked and senior catcher Cooper Kotowski, who reached on one of six Trevian miscues.
With two out in the third inning, Hawks senior Luke Kracik singled to right and when the Trevians right fielder misplayed the single, Hawk junior Andy Randazzo scored to pull the Hawks within 9-4 after three innings. Three Trevian errors in the third inning led to two unearned runs.
Enter Hawks junior reliever Elliott Higgins.
In the top of the fourth Higgins walked two Trevian hitters, plunked one and got out of the inning unscathed.
In the top of the fifth, Higgins plunked a pair of Trevians, walked one and again escaped unscored upon.
Of the first 11 Trevian hitters Higgins faced, he hit three and walked three.
"One could say Elliott (Higgins) was effectively wild today," Maine South head coach Brian Lorenz said tongue-in-cheek.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Hawks closed to within 9-5 as the Trevians committed their fifth and sixth errors of the game, leading to another unearned run.
In the top of the sixth, Higgins ( WP 1-0, 4IP, 0R, H, 0ER, 2K, 3BB,3HBP) allowed his only hit of his game-winning performance and then retired the Trevians 1-2-3 to end the top of the sixth with a little help from senior third baseman Kracik.
With two out and a Trevian baserunner on first base, Kracik made a diving stop on a smash off of the bat of New Trier's Alex Mendez. Kracik picked himself up and fired a laser to Hawks first baseman Sam Marin, for the second out of the inning.
Then came Maine South's half of the sixth inning.
Orucevic lead off the Hawks sixth with a single and right fielder Danny Sullivan walked, ending the day for Trevians starting pitcher Dalton Hastings (5 IP, 7R, 6H, 2ER,4K 2BB).
Trevian reliever Oliver Barkal (1 IP, 3R, 2H, 3ER, 2K 0BB) entered the game and pick up a strikeout for the first out of the inning.
O'Brien singled home Orucevic with his fourth RBI of the game pulling the Hawks within 9-6. Barkal plunked Randazzo to load the bases and then plunked Kracik to force in a run scoring Sullivan.
9-7 New Trier.
Barkal picked up another strikeout for the second out of the inning.
With the bases loaded and two outs, Marin ripped a clutch-two out, two run game-tying single bringing the Hawks back even at 9-9. O'Brien scored and Randazzo, who was plunked, scored the tying run.
"I went up to the plate with the hopes of hitting the ball into the outfield to get the tying runs home," Marin said. "Down 9-0 in the first inning, we were a little down but we kept a positive mindset as we got closer and closer to the lead.
"Elliott (Higgins) is a great teammate and pitched outstanding for us tonight. Tim O'Brien got us going with his three-run homer and great day at the plate."
Charlie Schau singled to reload the bases and with Orucevic at bat for a second time in the inning, Barkal uncorked a wild pitch, scoring Kracik with the eventual game-winning run.
In the New Trier top of the seventh Higgins picked up his second strikeout of the game for the first out of the inning. Higgins then induced a pair of fly balls to his senior right fielder Danny Sullivan.
For the second out of the inning Sullivan made a routine catch, however, for the final out of the game, Sullivan saved his best for last with a sensational diving catch to put an end to this unbelievable game.
"We just kept stringing hits together to come all the way back to get this great win," Higgins said. "My defense was outstanding behind me. The great play at third base from Luke (Kracik) and my best pitch was the ball that Danny Sullivan caught to end the game."
"This team has so much fight and energy," O'Brien said. "We had great at bats and what a job by Sam Marin with two strikes to get the tying runs home. Awesome win."
"We played very poorly in the first inning and it did not look good for us early on," Lorenz said. "Elliott (Higgins) hasn't pitched much for us this year but was outstanding for us today. I was very impressed with Sam Marin's approach after going hitless in his first three at bats of the game. Huge two-strike single, to tie the game up and then we win it on a wild pitch.
"Tim O'Brien. Timmy got us back in the game with his three-run homer and then his huge RBI single in the sixth. He is amazing. When you think that he cannot possibly come through for us again — he does."