Benet stays hot, downs Glenbard South
Propelled into the day’s first Glenbard South Regional quarterfinal against the host Raiders thanks to a pair of complete-game shutouts a day earlier, including one vs. top seed Metea Valley, Benet’s renewed confidence could easily be seen.
Coming off the heels of the splendid performances turned in on Monday by junior Jordan Rajewski and senior Chris Sanderson, senior right-hander Bobby Hayes took the baton and ran with it by throwing six-plus innings of quality baseball as No. 17 Benet eliminated ninth-seeded Glenbard South 5-3 Tuesday morning to move on in the 2011 Phil Lawler Summer Classic.
Despite seeing the team’s 17-inning scoreless streak go by the boards in the fourth because of a wild pitch, Hayes was solid in allowing just three runs on six hits.
“We think we can beat any team in the state, honestly, with our full team,” said Hayes, who had six strikeouts through three innings and fanned seven for the game all told. “Over the summer, we haven’t had a full team all year because some kids play football, some kids have summer basketball and all that. All the other programs in the state let us come out for playoffs because it’s such a big deal.
“Now we got our full team. Once you have your full team, that’s when you know how good you are. Apparently, we’re starting a streak.”
Hayes has sophomore left fielder Joe Boyle to thank as a big reason the Redwings are still alive and preparing for a third straight meeting in the summer with Neuqua Valley, the regional’s fourth seed, at 2 p.m. Wednesday.
Still feeling the effects of being hit in the head by Glenbard South starter Ethan Gasparro in the fifth, Boyle came up large for his teammate on the mound an inning later.
Benet was clinging onto a 4-3 lead with two runs already in and the Raiders threatening for more with the potential tying run on third with nobody out. But Hayes induced an out to center before Mitch Gasparro hit a fly ball in Boyle’s direction.
Boyle caught the ball and then fired towards home in an attempt to nail Doren Blake at the plate. Boyle hit the cutoff man, Redwings’ senior third baseman Sam Santa Maria, perfectly, and Santa Maria’s relay throw to junior catcher Kevin Jendra was in time to retire Blake, maintaining Benet’s one-run advantage.
“It was a pretty high popup, had to get under it,” Boyle said. “Knew the guy was tagging (from) third, knew that would be the tying run. So I had to get it in quick. Sam made a nice play to cut it off (and) get it to the catcher.”
Santa Maria got Benet on the scoreboard first with a sacrifice fly to center in the fourth and it took advantage of Boyle’s misfortune by scoring three two-out runs in the fifth, courtesy of a two-run single from Chris Seiboldt and a RBI single from sophomore Chris Whelan.
Seeded 17th in the regional after having only five victories when the seeds were handed out and finally somewhat together as a full team because of travel obligations, the Redwings are finally getting an opportunity to have some fun.
“We’ve been playing good in the last couple of weeks. It’s all just come together,” said Benet sophomore assistant coach Bob Gelwicks, who’s coaching the team this summer in place of coach Jeff Bonebrake. “Everybody’s doing their part. Everybody’s participating.”