Roger Craig, a former Major League Baseball pitcher and manager who won three World Series as a player and one as a coach, once said: “Players who commit errors need reassurance from the pitcher, who must harbor no grudges.”
The Fenwick baseball team better hope junior pitcher Joe Runnells forgives and forgets easily.
The sixth-seeded Friars lost to top seed New Trier in a sloppy game from the former that featured six Fenwick errors. Taking full advantage of their good fortune, the Trevians coasted to an 8-2 win and Lane Sectional championship at Kerry Wood Field on Saturday.
Things looked promising early for the Friars, who got four men on base in the top of the first inning. Fenwick managed just one run, however, and the scoring was put on pause until New Trier tied the game up with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the second.
The Trevians looked as if they were going to add to their lead when a New Trier batter smacked the ball into the right field gap, but sophomore right fielder Lucas Kolovitz dove to his left and made a miraculous catch for the third out of the inning.
The score remained tied 1-1 going into the third.
New Trier coach Mike Napoleon went to his bullpen early, bringing in right-hander Patrick Jodloman to relieve starter Spencer Beacom.
Fenwick quickly got to Jodloman as senior shortstop Anthony Cavalieri hit a long RBI single off the left field wall to put Fenwick up 2-1. Cavalieri’s shot would’ve been gone if Kerry Wood Field’s corner walls weren’t so tall. The Friars settled for one run.
New Trier strung back-to-back singles together to put men on the corners. Runnells then balked in a run, tying the game 2-2. The Trevians’ junior Cam Redding slapped a single up the middle to make the score 3-2.
New Trier didn’t look back after that.
Righty Sean Douare came in to pitch the fourth for the Trevians and made quick work of the Friars with his tricky sidearm delivery.
If Douare’s delivery wasn’t strange enough, a freak play followed in the bottom of the fourth – New Trier’s Payton Burch popped up down the first base line and as Runnells ran over to make the catch, the two collided. Burch was called out.
Just when it seemed like the Friars had caught a break, they couldn’t get out of their own way.
Back-to-back throwing errors gave the Trevians another run and New Trier promptly followed up Fenwick’s mistakes with a triple, putting them up 5-2.
Runnells’ day was over.
Senior Marty Stein replaced Runnells and gave up an RBI single before stopping the bleeding for the Friars. The score was 6-2 going into the fifth.
Bad defense plagued Fenwick throughout the game while Douare’s sidearm throwing style stymied the Friars’ bats.