Riverside-Brookfield High School baseball coach Dallas Till characterized the Bulldogs’ performance during a 12-6 loss to Glenbard South as “embarrassing and awful.”
Several of his players offered comparably disappointing descriptions in the aftermath of the Bulldogs’ unexpectedly sloppy play against the Raiders, lowlighted by four errors in the first inning and several base running miscues.
Coupled with a 5-0 win in the series opener behind Ethan Gasbarro’s one-hit gem, Glenbard South has seized sole possession of first place in the Metro Suburban Conference with RBHS a game behind.
Fortunately, the Bulldogs (21-3-1, 9-2 MSC) found a happier place as the week moved along. After celebrating prom on Friday night, RBHS kept the party going with a 7-4 victory over Wheaton Academy on Saturday at Ehlert Park in Brookfield.
“We had a rough time, the two games against Glenbard South,” first baseman Tom Leary said. “Overall though, were excited about our season. Honestly, this is the most fun I’ve had on any RB team. We have great chemistry and a chance to make a run in the playoffs.”
Kevin Garvey set RBHS’ resilient tone against Wheaton Academy as he allowed three earned runs and struck out five batters over 6.2 innings to pick up the win.
Locked in a 1-1 tie, the Bulldogs broke the game open, scoring six runs in the sixth to take a 7-1 advantage. Alex Nenadovic, C.J. Duffek and Garvey provided RBI singles along with Will Kincanon’s two-run double into right field.
“I’ve been struggling a bit lately,” Kincanon said, “so to get a big hit especially against a lefty is huge for my confidence. A lot of guys came through with big hits.”
The Warriors made matters interesting in the seventh, scoring three runs to draw within 7-4. Till called on junior lefty reliever Sam Smith, who recorded the final out to earn a save.
Offensively, Kincanon (2-for-4, two doubles, two RBI, run), Angelo Gabino (2-for-3, run) and Garvey (two RBI) paced the Bulldogs’ 10-hit attack.
“We hade some good at bats and hitting is contagious,” Duffek said. “Playing a game [the day after] prom can be tough, but we wanted to win this game.”
The RBHS junior varsity defeated Wheaton Academy 2-0 to complete Saturday’s sweep.
Although Glenbard South clinched the conference series against RBHS, the Bulldogs were ahead 4-2 in the fifth inning of game three of the series on May 2 before lightning suspended the action.
Kincanon will return to the bump in hopes of finishing what he started in the series finale.
The Bulldogs are looking forward to the release of postseason seeds and matchups the latter part of this week.
“We gave up some [seeding] position this week,” Till said. “We were jockeying for a No. 1 seed before we laid an egg against Glenbard South. I’m glad we bounced back to beat Wheaton Academy.”
RBHS opened last week with a 9-7 win over highly-regarded Joliet West. The Bulldogs scored all nine of their runs in the first as Garvey led the outburst with two hits and four RBI. Alex Nenadovic chipped in two RBI, while Duffek earned the win and Leary recorded a save.