In the past, Fenwick baseball head coach Dave Hogan has seen Friday night’s Senior Prom turn his teams to mush on the following day. But Saturday was a different story as the Friars blasted De La Salle 8-3 to push their win-streak to six games and lay claim to first place in the White Division of the Chicago Catholic League.
“They really surprised me,” said Hogan of his Friars, who entered this week with a 14-10 overall record and a 10-6 league mark. The team had won nine of its last 10 games. “You never know what you are going to get the day after prom, but these guys were ready to go. It was a solid performance all-around, hitting, fielding and pitching.”
A couple of trips to The Max, an indoor hitting facility in McCook, during the many days of inclement weather this spring seems to have paid off for the Friars. The team scattered 14 hits against De La Salle, including three by Brian Fitzgerald who also drove in three runs. Both Ryan Fitzgerald and John Planek hit home runs for the Friars, and finished with two RBIs apiece.
John McGann allowed three earned runs on five hits in six innings of work on the mound for Fenwick. The right-hander walked one and struck out two.
Twelve Fenwick players had hits in the Friars’ 22-0 clobbering of Hales Franciscan in five innings on Thursday, including Ryan Fitzgerald, Quinn Collins, Matt Stein, Sam Ainsworth and Mike Sullivan, who all had triples. Collins drove in five runs, while Tyler Sewall tossed a one-hit shutout and struck out nine.
Earlier in the week, the Friars picked up victories over Gordon Tech and Bishop McNamara. Mike Buzzell allowed five hits and struck out eight in Fenwick’s 8-0 thrashing of the Rams.
Against Bishop McNamara, John Patzelt tossed a three-hitter in five innings to lead Fenwick to a 2-1 win. Billy Meyer closed out the win by retiring six straight batters in two innings. Collins drove in Ryan Fitzgerald (2-for-4) with a single in the seventh to break a 1-1 tie for the game-winner. The Friars had nine hits in the game, including four from Collins.
“Right now, we’re right where we want to be. The team is pretty focused on winning the league championship” said Hogan. Fenwick last won the CL title in 2006. “It took us some time to get going, fighting the weather but we were always on the cusp. We just needed a string of games to catch some momentum.”
Fenwick, seeded sixth in the upcoming Class 4A Mt. Carmel Sectional playoffs, is scheduled to take on St. Ignatius in a Catholic League match-up at UIC today (Wednesday, May 11). The team travels to Providence on Thursday and Oak Lawn on Friday before returning home to the Dominican Priory to face St. Ignatius again on Saturday (11 a.m.).