In what's become a come-from-behind season for the Riverside-Brookfield baseball team, it was only appropriate that the Bulldogs land a Suburban Prairie(East) Conference title with a come-from-behind win.
With the title on the line in the rubber match of a three-game series with Ridgewood, the Bulldogs overcame a two-run deficit by scoring three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning of a 5-4 win at home Thursday.
RB (16-15, 9-3) finished its SPC schedule one game in front of the Rebels after taking 2-of-3 in the last week of conference play for both teams.
An 11-9 win Saturday against Glenbard South also put the Bulldogs over .500 for the first time this season.
The Bulldogs also had to climb back in the series with Ridgewood after losing the opener on Tuesday 4-2. Joe Kerke was the tough-luck loser after the Rebels plated the pair of runs in the top of the seventh inning.
Mike Marotta drove in both RB runs.
Marotta again plated two runs, this time this time as part of a three-run seventh inning of a 5-2 Bulldog win on May 11 that evened the series. He also took the hill and earned the win.
In the bottom of the sixth inning of the finale, RB trailed 4-2 before Nick Ely tripled and later scored on a groundout to bring the Bulldogs within a run with two outs.
Matt Sandrik then singled, and Mark Gorman walked. That pair would be standing on second and third base when Ken Razionale delivered a two-run RBI single for the tying and go-ahead runs. Johnny Saucedo, who pitched all seven innings, sat the Rebels down in order in the seventh to clinch the conference title.
RB finished the week with an offensive win against Glenbard South. Saucedo went 4-for-4, while Sandrik went 2-for-4 with three RBIs. Razionale chipped in a three-run home run, Kerke started the game and earned the win and Ely moved off shortstop to the mound to nail down the win for his fifth save of the season.
Bulldogs back in shape
A long layoff with only one game in 11 days may have cost the RB softball team a shot at a conference title. The Bulldogs (20-7, 4-2) played rusty in 8-1 and 5-2 losses to SPC East-leading Ridgewood (8-0 in the SPC) on May 10 and Thursday, respectively.
The rust appeared to be gone, however, when RB swept to a tournament title at Niles North, outscoring its opponents 14-1 over three games and rallying for a 2-1 win in the championship game against Hinsdale South on Saturday.
Until the final inning of the title tilt, the Bulldogs had been sat down in order through the first 6 1/3 innings. But then Paula Connolly singled, Meghan Hutchens doubled her home to tie the game, and Alison Milani doubled home Hutchens for the winning run.
RB beat host Niles North 5-0 earlier in the day Saturday, and crushed Lane Tech 8-0 in the tournament's opening round on Friday. Sam Maas started all three games, and Emma Forsberg relieved in the first two wins.