Breaking News Bar
updated: 5/11/2011 9:07 PM

Benet loses late lead

Success - Article sent! close

Benet's baseball team has lost games in just about every conceivable way this season.

Unfortunately for the Redwings, they added another first to the list on Wednesday.

Joliet Catholic scored twice in the top of the seventh inning and held on in the bottom of the seventh to pull out a 9-8 East Suburban Catholic Conference win in Lisle.

Benet (12-15, 5-9) appeared to be in good shape to split the two-game series after taking the lead behind a 5-run fourth inning. R.J. Gatto keyed the rally with a 3-run homer -- his second home run of the game.

The Redwings extended the lead to 8-4 with a pair of runs in the fifth. Andrew Mogni smacked his second RBI single in as many innings.

From that point on, though, Joliet Catholic (16-8, 8-4) took control.

"We fought hard today, but give them credit for coming up clutch," Gatto said. "We're learning from it. As much as this hurts us now it'll help us come playoff time. It's teaching us the hard way how to pull close games out."

The Hilltoppers scored 3 runs in the sixth -- two on a Cody Columbus triple -- and scored twice in the seventh to reclaim the lead. The tying run scored on a bloop single by Zach Melone and the go-ahead run came in on a wild pitch.

Joliet Catholic's made a habit of rallying for wins, and the Hilltoppers definitely celebrated this one after they recovered from watching a 4-1 lead disappear.

Benet put the tying run on base in the bottom of the seventh with one out but, after a deep flyout, Hilltoppers catcher Alex Voitik ended the game by throwing the runner out trying to steal second.

"We just kept playing the whole game and never gave up," said Melone, who went 3-for-4. "We've been in this situation a lot, and this time we pulled it out."

Gatto's solo home run in the bottom of the first slashed Joliet Catholic's lead to 2-1, but the Hilltoppers added 2 runs in the third on consecutive RBI singles by Ryan Peter and Voitik.

Benet's 5-run fourth inning started with the first three batters reaching base. After Gatto's 3-run homer, Nick Moore doubled and later scored on a wild pitch to put Benet ahead 5-4.

"We've actually had several games like this and, as a coach, you really don't like to see that," said Joliet Catholic coach Jared Voss. "We had the lead and kind of gave it up, but we came through when it counted."