Baseball: Benet holds off Naperville NorthBenet baserunner Joe Boyle (11) breaks up a double play as Naperville North shortstop Mike Laurenzo sidesteps him to make a throw to first base. | Jon Cunningham~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 31, 2012 5:19PM
Benet coach Scott Lawler noted that his team didn’t seem defeated in the aftermath of the Redwings’ heart-breaking 4-3 loss to St. Laurence on Friday.
“We walked away yesterday and our heads weren’t low. They knew they battled a great team and got beat. I was hoping it would translate into the next day,” Lawler said.
And it did. The Redwings bounced back with a 6-4 victory over visiting Naperville North on Saturday in Lisle.
“Yesterday was a tough loss, St. Laurence is a really good team. It was hard to lose it in the seventh like that, and I’m real proud of how we came out there today and fought all the way through,” Benet third baseman Sam Santa Maria said. “We didn’t let yesterday bring us down. For that reason, it was a big win.”
A day after blowing the lead in the seventh inning, the Redwings held off a late Huskies rally.
Benet (5-3) led 6-2 going in to the seventh, but RBI singles by first baseman Alex Moss and catcher Tyler Hogan cut the lead to 6-4.
The Huskies then loaded the bases with two outs, but reliever Patrick McInerney struck out designated hitter Pat Mollo to end the game.
“Mac [McInerney] hadn’t pitched in a week. He’s a competitor, so I knew he would do as best as he could, but it was tough,” Lawler said. “He got the out though.”
The Redwings’ offense consistently came through in the clutch on Saturday. Five of the team’s six runs were scored with two outs.
After two outs were recorded in the first inning, back-to-back RBI doubles by McInerney and right fielder Andrew Mogni gave the Redwings a 2-0 lead.
Benet started a three-run rally in the fifth inning with two outs and the bases empty.
A single by Billy Tumpane, back-to-back RBI doubles by Chris Whelan and Chris Stout and an RBI single by Santa Maria gave the Redwings a 6-1 lead.
The Huskies (3-5) were led on offense by second baseman Nick Solak, who went 2-for-2 with two walks and a triple. The junior went 3-for-3 on Friday and has reached base in seven straight plate appearances.
“He’s (Solak) doing all the right things offensively and he’s doing all the right things defensively,” Naperville North coach Carl Hunckler said. “He plays the game hard, and we love to see it. He’s a great role model for everyone else on this team.”
Saturday’s game wrapped up a five-game week for Benet. The Redwings went 4-1 and Lawler said he learned a lot about his team over its spring break stretch.
“Every game we came in and competed. We jumped up on some teams, we came from behind, had to hold off some rallies,” Lawler said. “We got tested this week in every way, and we lost. We saw what our team is made of by bouncing back.”