Baseball: Libertyville falls to Glenbrook South in sectional semifinal
Through five innings, Matt Rosenberger was zipping right along.
The Glenbrook South pitcher had allowed just 1 hit in a Class 4A sectional semifinal baseball game against the host Wildcats at Libertyville.
But when he hit a small bump in the road with two outs in the sixth inning, Rosenberger and the Titans got just the right amount of help.
Reliever Josh Moosey took the torch from Rosenberger as he has throughout the season, and recorded four straight outs to close out a 6-3 Glenbrook South victory over Libertyville.
The Titans (25-10-1), who jumped out to a 5-0 lead through two innings and carried that momentum through the game, will play at Prospect at 4:30 p.m. on Friday for the sectional championship.
"We had a great one-two punch on the mound today," Glenbrook South coach Steve Stanicek said. "Matt Rosenberger was just outstanding and battled through some tough situations and came out on top, and then Josh Moosey came in and was just, wow, absolutely amazing. He's been doing that most of the year. He found his niche getting those last few outs."
Rosenberger, who rolled up 8 strikeouts and was making life tough for Libertyville's batters, hit a snag in the sixth when the Wildcats got back-to-back doubles by Cole Collins and Karsen Cardona. Cardona's double brought in a run and cut Glenbrook South's lead to 6-3.
With no let up in the hot temperatures, and advancement in the state tournament on the line, Stanicek made the decision to give Rosenberger, who was otherwise spectacular, a break.
"I missed a couple of spots, I left the ball up at the plate and they got a couple of hard shots," Rosenberger said. "But then I handed it off to (Moosey) and he did a great job throwing strikes and getting those outs."
Moosey says he loved the pressure of that situation, having to get the final out of that sticky sixth inning and then closing the door in the seventh. He did that in part with 2 strikeouts.
"There was a little bit of pressure, but I just focused on my game plan, throwing strikes, and I was confident in the last inning and I got it done," Moosey said. "It was unbelievable to finish the game like that."
The Wildcats were in disbelief, too.
They were optimistic until the very last out that their offense, which has produced timely hits all season would again come through.
"Even that last inning, it was like, 'We can still do this,' " Libertyville coach Matt Thompson said. "All you needed was two baserunners. You never know. And in high school baseball, anything can happen. We trusted in these guys to the very end."
Libertyville closes out the season with a 26-9 record and a share of the North Suburban Conference championship.
"I loved having every opportunity I had to play, especially after missing last year (due to COVID)," said Libertyville senior relief pitcher Jack Bjorklund, who pitched the third, fourth and fifth innings and let up 4 hits and 2 runs. "But this stinks. We've won almost all our games where we started off strong with some runs right away but when we gave up 5 in the first two innings, we just didn't have enough energy to get back in."