Perseverance is an admirable trait in baseball players.
It's a must in the brutally competitive West Suburban Silver.
Glenbard West and Hinsdale Central both showed it in Saturday's doubleheader in Glen Ellyn, earning a split when the Hilltoppers claimed the opener 6-5 and fell 10-0 in five innings in the second game.
Given the ebb and flow of the first game, both sides had reason to be at least a little pleased by the end of the day.
"This team doesn't really get down," said Glenbard West coach Brian Wojtun. "They do fight. Even the second game. We're down 10-0, but we're getting guys on base and we've got a chance to keep the game going. They push themselves no matter what the score is."
In Game 1 the Hilltoppers (3-5, 1-4) trailed 1-0 until the bottom of the sixth when they exploded for 5 runs and claimed the lead on starting pitcher Grant Greeno's 2-run single. Will Simoneit, Game 2 starter Dennis Rudolph and Griffin Brugh also added run-scoring hits.
Hinsdale Central (4-2, 3-1) answered with 4 runs in the top of the seventh to knot the game at 5-5. Joe Herr's 2-run single started things off, and then an RBI single by Jacob White also scored the tying run when the relay throw rolled into Glenbard West's dugout.
No worries for Glenbard West, though. Spencer Refer led off the bottom of the seventh with a single and advanced to third on an error when the ball rolled all the way to the wall. After two intentional walks loaded the bases, Refer beat the throw to the plate on a dribbler to the pitcher to score the winning run.
"We were having a hard time getting runners on base all game, but finally we broke through in the bottom of the sixth," Greeno said. "Our perseverance was great, but we needed to be better that second game."
Hinsdale Central showed its own resiliency by starting Game 2 with 5 runs in the first inning and 4 runs in the second. Three Glenbard West errors in the fifth inning led to the 10th run.
The Hilltoppers loaded the bases in the bottom of the fifth but Austin Butler, relieving winning pitcher Adam Dressler, got a strikeout to end the game.
Eight Hinsdale Central players had a hit in the second game, with Ryan Huff going 2-for-3 with 3 RBI. Matt Buckley won Game 1 for the Hilltoppers.
"I think we're learning how to compete," said Hinsdale Central coach Tom Dorrance. "We're going to get there. We're going to be a better team than we were today. We had some good at-bats that second game, and that was a good step for us."
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