Money was big money for Fremd on Saturday in the Class 4A St. Viator regional final in Arlington Heights.
Greg Money, that is. He delivered a two-out single to right-center to score Austin Jetel as the Vikings rallied for 2 runs in the bottom of the seventh and a 4-3 victory over Buffalo Grove.
"I was way down in the order," said Money, who was the sixth batter to come to the plate in the inning. "I was hoping that they would get to me. I swung at the first pitch and once I hit it, I knew we had won."
The victory gave coach Chris Piggott his first regional title since he became coach in 2003, and it's the first regional title for Fremd since 2002. Fremd moves on to the Glenbrook North sectional Wednesday, where the Vikings will meet Libertyville, a 7-6 victor against Glenbrook North at Lake Zurich in regional play Saturday.
"It is very enjoyable," Piggott said. "Anything can happen in regionals as you can see."
Trailing 3-2 with one out, the Vikings used some speed to get the rally going.
Andrew Stark first beat out a soft groundball just to the left of the mound. Jetel followed by beating the pitcher to the base on a grounder to deep first. Sam Beutler, who drove in with a hit earlier, drilled a sharp single to left, scoring Stark while Jetel stopped at second.
"We came up with runs every time we needed them today," Beutler said. "I think anyone on our team who came up in this situation would have got the job done."
After a strikeout, Money drove the first pitch he saw, and Jetel scored standing up.
"We haven't given up all year," Piggott said. "We battled and competed well. I am proud of them, they got the job done. We might not be the fastest guys, but they knew what was at stake."
Buffalo Grove (12-17), which was 17th and knocked out No. 1 seed Mundelein on Thursday, saw their upset opportunity fade away.
"We talked throughout the year that if people saw us, how would they describe us?" Buffalo Grove coach Jeff Grybash said. "If you watched us in this regional, that is the exactly the image we were looking for."
Fremd, a No. 8 seed, took a 1-0 lead in the first when Stark singled and Jetel doubled. Stark then scored on Beutler's groundout to second.
The Bison took advantage one of one of the 4 Fremd errors to grab a 2-1 lead in the fourth heading into the seventh. Mike DiVesti reached on an error and Sean Edgar followed with a single. Edgar and courtesy runner Alex Kurgan both scored on Matt Blankshain's double to left that just eluded a diving Beutler.
Fremd came back to tie the game in their half of the fourth. Jon Escobar, who beat St. Viator 1-0 on Friday, reached on a hit by pitch. He moved to second on a wild pitch and reached third on a groundout before scoring on Randy Wilt's single to left.
Buffalo Grove regained the lead in the fifth as Luke Potnick doubled home Dan Levato, who had singled with one out.
From there, Fremd pitcher Mack Rosman kept the Bison at bay, allowing just one baserunner -- and that was on an error.
"Saturdays are great for me," said Rosman, who struck out 10 and allowed just 4 hits to improve to 7-3.
"I wake up and feel great. My slider was good and my change up came up big for me at the end."