Baseball: Joliet Catholic dashes Benet's league hopes
Benet hoped to use its two-game series with Joliet Catholic to climb back into the race for the East Suburban Catholic Conference baseball title.
For the second straight day Joliet Catholic had other plans.
The Hilltoppers completed another key ESCC sweep with Tuesday's 6-1 victory over Benet in Lisle.
Combined with Monday's victory over the Redwings (18-9, 8-5), Joliet Catholic (18-10, 13-1) pretty much eliminated Benet from championship contention while solidifying its own hopes.
"These are pretty good teams we're playing, so it definitely boosts our confidence to win like this," said Hilltoppers catcher Simon Grashoff, who homered and doubled. "It's fun baseball when you're playing like this."
Marty Dosen tied the game at 1-1 for Benet in the bottom of the first inning with an RBI single that scored Tyler Bautista, but Joliet Catholic took the lead for good with a 3-run second inning sparked by Greg Ziegler's 2-run single.
Grashoff launched a solo home run in the third, and Ziegler's sixth-inning sacrifice fly made it 6-1. That was more than enough support for winning pitcher Aidan Tyrell, who struck out eight in 6 innings.
Benet struck out twice more in the seventh against Hilltoppers reliever Kyle Winkle to end the game.
"They're the most complete team we've played in a two-game series," said Redwings coach Scott Lawler. "They kept inching away from us so we couldn't get back in it. I just have to tip my cap to them."
The Redwings, who used four pitchers, had their chances early against Tyrell but couldn't take advantage. They stranded five runners in the first three innings and had a runner cut down at the plate by Ziegler in center field.
Brandon Gorz had 2 of Benet's 6 hits while Justin Conant went 2-for-3 for Joliet Catholic.
"It starts with everyone just playing scrappy out there," said Hilltoppers coach Jared Voss. "Beating someone twice in this conference is tough, especially on the road."
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