Baseball: OPRF walks off Maine West in regional final
It was a sudden end for Maine West.
Oak Park-River Forest's Adam Landsman belted a 2-run walk-off home run as the Huskies stunned Maine West 2-1 in the championship game of the Class 4A Maine West baseball regional Saturday at Triton College in River Grove.
"I was just looking to hit a line drive," said Landsman, who was batting with the tying run at second and no outs.
"I got a little under it and the backspin carried it out."
The loss was a heartbreaker for Maine West (14-16-1), which had entered the game as the No. 8 seed in the Loyola Academy sectional. The Warriors had played top-seeded Oak Park (22-12) in the previous two regional finals and had defeated the Huskies on both occasions.
"It was a good game and you can't get upset about a game like that," Maine West coach Mike Randazzo said. "The way it ended ... we had them two in a row and they had us this time."
Randazzo said that his team had some opportunities to score additional runs.
"Offensively we didn't have a lot of runs, but had hits," Randazzo said. "Hard hits all over the place. Their pitcher (Griffin Holderfield) was throwing hard."
So was Maine West pitcher David Roscoe, who was the hard-luck loser.
The junior was solid for the Warriors. He threw just 65 pitches, allowing only 5 hits. He walked none and struck out 5.
"He had an amazing game," Randazzo said. "He had one (bad) pitch and the kid sat on it and hit it real far."
Maine West took the lead in the top of the first. Justin Scholler singled and then was able to score as Emmett Olson, who had 2 hits, drilled a long double. The Warriors had a chance to add on in that inning when Costa Paschos singled to right, but Oak Park was able to cut down Olson at the plate to keep it 1-0.
Both teams had opportunities to get on the board from there but neither team could tally a run thanks to key strikeouts or superb defensive plays like the two that were turned in by Scholler at second base for the Warriors.
It was an infield error on a high-bounding ground ball on the turf that allowed Oak Park to get the leadoff batter on in the bottom of the seventh. Two pitches later, the season was over for the Warriors.
Scholler, who had 3 hits, including a double said he liked how his team battled.
"We fought the whole way," said Scholler, who is a senior. "To take a team like Oak Park all the way to the seventh inning is amazing. This is my favorite season of all the sports I play. It is like a family here."
Paschos, who was a three-year starter for the Warriors, agreed.
"We put our hearts out there," Paschos said. "We battled. This is not something that was casual with this group. It was tough, but it was a learning experience. For us seniors, it is all about memories. It was fun. It is all about having a good time and playing baseball."