Mired in a baseball regional loaded with state-caliber programs from Class 4A power conferences, Montini wasn't exactly an overwhelming favorite to emerge as the champion.
But there were the Broncos on Thursday afternoon, posing for pictures at home plate after winning the Glenbard South regional and advancing to the Elite Eight of next week's Phil Lawler Summer Classic.
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With a 7-4 win over Wheaton Warrenville South in Glen Ellyn, Montini advances to double elimination play at 10 a.m. Monday at Naperville's North Central College. The Broncos will play Jacobs, the champion of the Lake Park regional after beating the host Lancers in Thursday's regional final.
"I don't think anyone expected us to get past the first round of the regional," said Broncos complete-game winning pitcher Ben Dobosenski. "But we got through these four games. It feels amazing, especially when you're coming in as the underdog."
The ninth-seeded Broncos beat No. 8 Downers Grove South, No. 1 Naperville Central and No. 13 Aurora Central Catholic heading into their matchup against No. 7 WW South. In Thursday's final Montini did a great job creating runs in the early innings, building a 5-1 lead in the top of the fourth.
The Broncos scored in each of the first four innings including one on an error and two on wild pitches. Dobosenski and Eddie Bava added RBI singles. Montini drew seven walks and two batters were hit by pitches.
As much as the Tigers tried to rally, they couldn't keep up with the constant pressure from Montini.
"Finally in the fifth I said, 'Hey, that was our first shutout inning,'" said WW South coach Tim Brylka. "We just kept shooting ourselves in the foot. They're a good team and they took advantage."
A run in the third on Matt Walsh's RBI double and 2 runs in the fourth narrowed the gap to 5-3. The Tigers pulled within 5-4 in the bottom of the sixth on a run-scoring single by Eric Giltz, but Montini added 3 runs -- including one on a wild pitch and another on a bases-loaded walk -- to add insurance in the seventh.
WW South, which stranded eight runners, left the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh to end the game. Dobosenski allowed 9 hits, walked four, struck out one and gave up 3 earned runs while going the distance.
"These guys really came together this week," said Montini coach Eric Scott. "I don't think many people expected us to get this far, but we got the job done."