Vernon Hills coach Jay Czarnecki said his team "survived a great baseball game" Wednesday.
The Cougars outlasted Fenton 3-2 in 11 innings in their Class 3A regional semifinal.
Alex Cohen was the tough-luck loser for the No. 4 seed, as he threw 9 innings, allowing only 2 runs. Pat Crowley earned the win in relief for top-seeded Vernon Hills, which advances to the final of its own regional.
Vernon Hills got on the board first in the bottom of the second. Tommy Earhart led off the inning with a walk and moved to third on John Goehrke's single. After back-to-back strikeouts, Earhart stole home on an attempted pickoff play at second.
Fenton took the lead in the third, but Vernon Hills pulled even in the sixth on Crowley's home run.
In the Vernon Hills 11th, Jacob Feece drew a one-out walk and advanced to third on a single by Matt Paszko, before an intentional walk to Jordan Freibrun loaded the bases for Jake Boyer. After the first pitch, an attempted pickoff of Feece at third went awry when the ball was bobbled by the third baseman. Feece broke for home and beat the throw.
The Cougars next play at 10 a.m. Saturday against the winner of today's game between Wauconda and Ridgewood.
Libertyville, 11, Hersey 5: At Libertyville, Hunter Van Wagner hit solo home runs in the second and third innings, and the top-seeded Wildcats pounded out 13 hits in their Class 4A regional opener.
Conor Simpson tripled in 2 runs, Matt Reed had a 2-run single and Ryan Jackson contributed 3 hits and 3 RBI for Libertyville, which will play in its own regional final Saturday at 10 a.m. The Wildcats will face the winner of today's contest between Highland Park and Prospect.
Jeff Barton got the win and Ian Grant earned the save.
Grant 6, Grayslake North 1: At Grayslake North, Ryan Noda hit his 12th homer of the season, and the top-seeded Bulldogs took care of the host school.
Andrew Stone improved to 9-0 on the mound, pitching all 7 innings. The only run he allowed was unearned.
Nick Heidenthal added a single and 2 RBI for Grant (25-8), which will play in Saturday's 11 a.m. regional final against the winner of today's game between McHenry and Prairie Ridge.
Glenbrook South 2, Stevenson 0: At Stevenson, Villanova-bound Conor McCarthy struck out eight in shutting out the Patriots for the second time this season.
Willie Bourbon and Sean Wilson had the only hits for Stevenson. Mitch Goll pitched well for the Patriots, allowing no earned runs and only 3 hits in a complete-game effort.
Glenbrook South moves on to Saturday's 10 a.m. regional final against the winner of today's game between Lake Forest and Lake Zurich.
Deerfield 2, Carmel 1: At Glenbrook North, the 14th-seeded Warriors shocked the fourth-seeded Corsairs to earn a berth in Saturday's 10 a.m. regional final against either St. Viator or Glenbrook North.
Warren 11, Lake Zurich 5: Ryan Davila earned the win in the nonconference game, as the Blue Devils improved to 22-12-1.
Chris Mathieu was 3-for-4 with 2 RBI and a run scored for the Blue Devils. Stephen Binstock went 2-for-5 with an RBI and scored twice, and Dom Cuevas was 2-for-4 with 2 RBI and 3 runs scored.