Montini's baseball team has been waiting to hit the teeth of its schedule.
Friday's effort showed the Broncos aim to rise to the occasion.
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In a Suburban Christian Conference showdown against St. Francis, the Broncos came through with a 4-2 victory in Lombard.
Timely hitting and Tyler Quick's stellar pitching helped Montini (14-1, 9-1) overcome a sometimes shaky day in the field. When Jake Pestel hit the first pitch of the bottom of the first over the left-field fence, the Broncos were ready to go.
"We knew they're a good team and we wanted to come out strong against them," Pestel said. "I was just looking for a first-pitch fastball. That really got us going for the rest of the game."
Quick allowed only 3 hits, struck out nine and walked none in 6 innings. Sean Frontzak hit a batter in the seventh, but otherwise he cruised to earn the save.
"It's coming down to the wire now that we've got St. Francis, Marmion," Quick said. "We've got some huge games coming up, and coach keeps stressing to us that we've got to keep doing our thing."
Pestel's homer spotted Montini to a 1-0 lead against St. Francis starter Jason Sullivan, but the Spartans (14-6, 6-2) evened things up in the second on Jake Radel's infield single when Zach Prociuk hustled to score from second base.
The Broncos claimed the lead for good in the third when Austin Kline and Eddie Bava singled home lone runs to make it 3-1.
"We usually have close games here, especially at this point in the conference," said Spartans coach Rich Janor. "We wish we were on the other side of the score, but they outplayed us today and hopefully we'll have a chance to bounce back here with the rest of the conference."
St. Francis narrowed the gap to 3-2 on Prociuk's run-scoring double, but Montini got the run back in the fifth when Rhett Wojkovich singled home a run to make it 4-2.
Montini, which beat Lyons Twp. on Wednesday, continues its tough slate of games with next week's key SCC series against Marmion on Monday and Tuesday.
"It's a quality win, no doubt about it," said Montini coach Bob Landi. "These are the games we look forward to playing. We just need to keep playing well and getting pitching performances like we've been getting all season."
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