Baseball: Marian Catholic holds off Homewood-FlossmoorHomewood-Flossmoor's relief pitcher Matt Groboski throws in the fourth during a varsity baseball game against Marian Catholic on Friday, Mar. 30, 2012 in Chicago Heights, Ill. | John Smierciak~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 30, 2012 8:48PM
The near proximity of Marian Catholic to Homewood-Flossmoor has helped fuel a fierce rivalry between the two programs. So when H-F visited undefeated No. 6 Marian Catholic on Friday, the usually high stakes were raised another notch in the clash of two of the area’s top teams.
“This is a game we always look forward to,” Marian relief pitcher Ben Santori said. “We play summer ball with a lot of those guys.”
Santori, in his second game of the season after suffering an injury, helped Marian prevail 6-5.
Santori gave up two hits and no runs over the final three innings to hold back the H-F offense.
Marian (7-0) was ahead 4-1 after three innings, but H-F (2-2) finally clicked offensively after leaving the bases loaded in the first and third innings. The Vikings scored four runs in the fourth for a 5-4 lead.
Elon Chamberlain’s double brought in Michael Hurley for the tying run and Ryan Redmond drove in Chamberlain for the lead.
Marian answered in the bottom of the fourth. Robbie Cifelli singled and stole second. He then stole third and took home on an overthrow into left field for a 5-5 tie.
After reaching base on a walk, Brad Callaghan (2-for-3, RBI) beat a throw to the plate to score the game-winner on a bouncer to second from Pat Schmidt (3-for-4, two RBI).
“You’ve got to give credit to [Santori] to close out the game like that,” H-F coach Todd Sippel said. “Leaving the bases loaded in the first and third innings really came back to haunt us, but we fought hard tonight.”