Jake Cavaiani delivered Prospect into the summer league baseball state finals Thursday.
Cavaiani hit a bases-loaded single to left in the bottom the eighth to score Ryan Molini, helping lift the Knights past St. Viator 7-6 in the regioanl final at Lake Park High School in Roselle.
Contact information ( * required )
"It was an instant classuc," said Prospect coach Ross Giusti, who team advanced to the Phil Lawler Summer Classic finals for the first time since 1984.
"It was a big win for us. We had a number of kids step up and keep the inning alive."
Prospect will begin play in the eight-team double elimination state finals Monday at North Central College. The Knights (24-5-1) will meet St. Laurence at 10 a.m.
Prospect rallied from an early 4-0 deficit against St. Viator. The Knights scored 5 runs in the bottom of the fourth, with the big blow coming from Jack Courtney, who pinch hit and drilled a 3-run homer, scoring Molini and Matt Nadler.
"We have really been trying to find a spot for Courtney," Giusti said. "So we made a decision to pinch hit in that spot and he came up huge."
Prospect added an insurance run in sixth when Trey Compton tripled and then scored on a wild pitch to make it 6-4.
St. Viator (14-16) came out with some fireworks of its own to tie the game in the top of the seventh. With two outs, Ben Dickey singled and Dan Sullivan followed with a homer to right.
St. Viator had an opportunity in the top of the eighth, but had one runner thrown out stealing at second and stranded another there when Danny Devereux struck out the final two batters.
"It was a great game'" St. Viator coach Mike Manno said. "I am really proud of our kids. We battled all week."
Compton had 3 hits for the Knights while Cavaiani, Molini and Nadler each added 2 hits while Devereux, Tyler Damansky and Willie Sampson pitched well for the Knights. Darling led St. Viator with 2 hits, including a double.
"The kids have had a great attitude all summer" Giusti said "It has been fun to be out there every day."
Glenbrook North 8, Palatine 5: Palatine fell a bit short in its bid to advance to the state finals. Nick Orlando, Matt Lamb, Joey Roy, Mike Stacy and Chris Refka each had RBI for the regional host Pirates (22-12).
"We grew tremendously as a team," Palatine coach Paul Belo said. "That is what the summer is for. I am happy with the run we made at the end."
Prairie Ridge 7, Warren 5: The Wolves earned a spot in the Elite Eight by topping the Blue Devils in regional final play at Libertyville.
Prairie Ridge will meet Joliet Catholic, winner of the Lockport regional, in first-round play Monday at Benedictine University.
Seventh-seeded Warren defeated No. 6 seed Carmel 13-1 on Wednesday to earn its spot in the regional title game, while No. 4 seed Prairie Ridge edged No. 8 McHenry 8-7 to earn its berth.