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The Fenwick baseball team navigated through the regular season in an ebb-and-flow manner, winning a block of games here and losing a block of games there. Now with the Class 4A state playoffs beginning this week, the Friars have but one way to keep their season alive: win.
Fenwick began the season by cruising to seven straight victories, only to drop the next four, including a 14-0 shellacking at home at the hands of St. Laurence, the No. 1 seed in the St. Ignatius Sectional and a team in Fenwick's regional. Depending on whether or not they get past Whitney Young in Thursday's semifinal game (4:30 p.m.), the eighth-seeded Friars (20-12) will likely see their Catholic League foe again in the championship on Saturday, May 26 (11 a.m.) at the Dominican Priory in River Forest.
St. Laurence has been ranked as high as second in the state and began last week with 27 victories.
But as of this writing, Fenwick was on one of its winning spurts, wrapping up three-straight with a 13-2 victory over Bishop McNamara in Kankakee on Thursday. The Friars bombarded the Fightin' Irish with four runs the second, third and fifth innings. Ryan Fitzgerald, who finished the day with three RBIs, plated a run in the fifth with a line-drive triple to right field. Paul O'Toole, Drew Schroeder and Jim Sweeney, also had RBIs in the inning.
On May 16, Fenwick secured a 2-0 win over Montini as Kyle Pullia pitched a gem. Pullia shut down the Meteors in seven innings, yielding just five hits while walking one and fanning eight. Sam Ainsworth singled in the game winner in the third inning. Sweeney scored an insurance run in the sixth on an error by the Montini shortstop.
Earlier last week, the Friars scored 14 runs in the first inning and scattered 21 hits to topple Seton 25-1. Scott Reither went 3-for-3 with four RBIs. Matt Toohey, Jack Forde and Ainsworth all drove in three runs apiece for the Friars.