Baseball: Joliet Catholic rallies past Marian Catholic
By Dick Goss firstname.lastname@example.org May 9, 2012 11:06PM
Updated: June 11, 2012 10:15AM
Yogi was right after all. This one was over and still wasn’t over.
After being stifled through six innings by Marian right-hander Ben Santori, Joliet Catholic attacked touted left-hander Brett Lilek to escape with an improbable 5-4 victory Wednesday at Gillespie Field, thus maintaining its share of the East Suburban Catholic Conference lead.
With Marian (16-12, 4-8) leading 4-1, designated hitter Adrian Nunez rifled a bases-clearing double down the left-field line on Lilek’s 3-and-2 pitch with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the seventh. Sam Couch, the courtesy runner, was off on the pitch and slid home with the tying run.
“I was expecting the fastball and got it,” Nunez said. “It was still tough to catch up with.”
“Adrian was frustrated earlier, but he’s a free swinger,” Hilltoppers coach Jared Voss said. “This isn’t the first time he’s gotten a big hit.”
Then in the bottom of the eighth, after two outs, Brock Pluth, who had singled to ignite the seventh-inning uprising, walked and stole second. Nate Searing drove him home with a line single to left, Pluth scoring when the throw was not handled cleanly.
“It was a good finish to a game we had to have,” said Searing, who went 5-for-5 with two doubles. “I know Ben from travel ball. He was working us in and had us down all game. Nunez got the big hit we needed.”
“Ben could not have pitched better,” Marian Catholic coach Phil Wail said. “They (Hilltoppers) have been in these situations before and worked through it. We’re trying to get to that point.”
John Chignoli started for No. 3 Joliet Catholic (22-6-1, 10-2) and Sean Chamberlin, the fourth pitcher, got the win. All four Marian runs were unearned.
“It was frustrating because we were leaving guys on third with less than two outs, and our defense could have played tighter,” Voss said.