In a perfect world, perhaps even in a couple weeks, Grant Greeno would have stayed on the mound to finish what he started.
Trust in his teammates, though, helped ease the nerves of Monday's departure.
Glenbard West's baseball team held on for a 3-2 win over Hinsdale South in Darien by surviving a huge opportunity for the Hornets in the bottom of the seventh.
Greeno pitched strong into the seventh but was relieved by Eric Nielsen after Greeno walked the leadoff hitter. The Hilltoppers (4-2) led 3-1 at that point, and the margin shrank to 3-2 on Matt Marrera's one-out RBI single.
Hinsdale South (1-4) had runners on second and third with one out and attempted to tie the game with a suicide squeeze bunt. The pitch went in the dirt, however, leaving the runner at third hung out to dry sprinting home.
Hilltoppers catcher Will Simoneit tagged the runner for the second out, and reliever Dennis Rudolph coaxed a popout to end the game and save the win for Greeno.
"We got the win, that's all that really matters," Greeno said. "Early in the season my arm's not 100 percent strengthened, so it was good to have Dennis come in and get a save. But I would have liked to finish that."
Greeno and Hinsdale South starter Eric Benson were locked in a scoreless pitchers' duel through three innings until Glenbard West broke through with a run in the top of the fifth on Drew Vogg's bloop single to left. Don Buonavolanto helped tie it in the bottom of the fifth by bunting for a single, stealing third and scoring on Joe Jablonski's groundout.
The Hilltoppers seized the lead for good by scoring twice in the sixth on Will Simoneit's run-scoring double and Vogg's sacrifice fly.
"Closer than we want, but we'll take the win," said Glenbard West coach Andy Schultz. "This could have gone either way. In a 3-2 game there were a lot of those kind of plays that make the difference."
Hinsdale South was aggressive on the bases the entire game. Glenbard West was up to the challenge defensively, turning two double plays and cutting down a runner at the plate trying to score on a first-and-third steal.
Simoneit and Buonavolanto each had 2 hits. Greeno allowed 3 hits and struck out five in 6 innings while Benson scattered 8 hits in 6 innings.
"We just need a timely hit," said Hinsdale South coach Paul Hoel. "Just about every game we've been in has been a 1-run game or extra innings. Every game has looked like this. Eventually it'll even out...we hope."
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