Baseball: St. Francis wins extra-inning pitchers' duel over Glenbard South

By Dave Hess
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 5/28/2022 5:18 PM

St. Francis walked to the Class 3A Burlington Central regional championship Saturday morning. Literally.

Will Gilroy walked with the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth to give the Spartans a 1-0 win over Glenbard South. It is the second straight regional crown for St. Francis (23-11).


The Spartans advance to the Sycamore sectional to play the host Spartans at 6 p.m. Wednesday. Sycamore defeated Belvidere North 2-0 to win the Belvidere regional.

Glenbard South ends the 2022 campaign with a 19-14 record.

With nobody out and the bases loaded, Gilroy took a 3-2 fastball outside the strike zone which forced in the winning run.

The senior left fielder had struck out his previous 2 at-bats.

"I know with 2 strikes that anything close I have to swing," said Gilroy. "I knew that pitch was outside and not a strike. It is great to win a second straight regional. As a senior, I want to keep this going as long as I can."

Junior Rocco Tenuta enjoyed a stellar effort on the mound for the regional champions.

In 8 innings of work, the hard-throwing right-hander blanked the Raiders on 2 singles.

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Tenuta retired the first 13 Raiders he faced before yielding a single to Joey Demeo with one out in the fifth. He allowed a two-out single to Will Kavelage in the eighth.

Tenuta struck out eight -- five in the last two innings -- without allowing a walk.

"All my pitches were working," said Tenuta. "I was happy for the seniors. I wanted to win it for them."

St. Francis coach Tom Ciombar was impressed with Tenuta's stuff.

"He was an all-stater last year and I am sure he will be an all-stater this season," said the St. Francis coach. "He was amazing against a very good team (Glenbard South). His fastball and slider were really good."

Sophomore George Thomos was the hard-luck loser for the Raiders.

Thomos gave up one run on two hits in seven innings while striking out six. Thomos was hindered by wildness. He hit five batters and walked two, one intentionally.


"George was outstanding," said Glenbard South coach Marco Eufrasio. "I had no doubt about him pitching in a regional championship game. He pitched with a lot of confidence and did a good job of keeping their hitters off-balance."

Thomos wiggled out a major jam in the bottom of the sixth. Because of two errors and a hit by pitch, the Spartans had the bases loaded and nobody out.

Thomos struck out the next three to get out of the inning.

"It was clutch pitching by George," said Eufrasio. "I hoped it would give us momentum going into the seventh. Tenuta shut us down. He pitched a great game."

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