Chris Bartosz didn’t get to play much for Montini’s summer baseball team team because of work and a traveling team commitment, but the Broncos were glad to have the senior-to-be available Monday in the first game of the IHSBCA Phil Lawler Summer Classic state tournament at North Central College.
Bartosz kept Jacobs guessing through six innings on three hits and earned the 5-1 victory despite dodging danger at almost every turn as the Broncos advanced in the double-elimination format to a Tuesday 10 a.m. matchup at Benedictine University against St. Laurence, which beat Crystal Lake South 5-4.
“Their pitcher, I thought he was awesome today,” Jacobs coach Jamie Murray said of Bartosz. “He knows how to pitch.”
Bartosz struck out just two, and both were huge. He fanned Jacobs leadoff hitter Ben Murray in the fourth with runners on second and third and Montini (17-10-3) up 1-0, and then in the sixth with a run in, runners at second and third and the score 2-1.
“When that happens and you get in trouble, you’ve got to trust your defense to make plays and pitch to contact,” Bartosz said. “You try to get ahead, throw strikes and let your defense make plays.”
Bartosz will be a fourth-year varsity player in the spring when regular baseball season begins, but he’s already earned a reputation because last spring he defeated Minooka, which went on to place fourth in the Class 4A state tourney.
He escaped the first inning in a bases-loaded, two-out situation by getting Tim Hubner to ground to third, hit two batters in the third but got Jon Berndt to pop out for the final out, and pitched out of danger in the fourth and sixth.
Bartosz left in the seventh in favor of closer Tyler Quick, who benefited from a double play in a scoreless inning. His strong effort left Montini in a good position because it has ace Ben Dobosenski available to face St. Laurence.
“It wasn’t overpowering, but we used our defense, we used all nine guys out there to get the job done,” Montini coach Eric Scott said.
Jacobs (24-3-1) had strong pitching from starter Nick Ledinsky, but Montini broke through with a run in the fourth on Manny Georgitis’ long single off the fence, chasing home Dobosenski.
Georgitis had a hand in three other runs when he reached on two errors, the first in the sixth with one out and runners a second and third. Jacobs shortstop Kenny Finn mishandled a grounder, scoring a run. Another error on a Georgitis grounder plated two in the seventh. The other run came in on a Dobosenski sacrifice fly in the seventh.
Montini, a ninth seed in its regional, had scored 31 runs in four previous victories in regional wins over Downers Grove South, Naperville Central, Aurora Cental Catholic, and Wheaton-Warrenville South, but enjoyed winning with pitching and defense Monday.
“Today were a litte scrappy,” Scott said.
The Broncos had nine hits, with Austin Kline the only player getting more than one. Jacobs had two hits from Aaron Meciej.
“We want to play the best to find out where we measure,” Murray said. “Execution-wise we didn’t measure up with them today.”