Baseball: Barrington gets payback, Mundelein for regional title

Thanks to an inning that saw just about everything break Barrington's way, the second-seeded Broncos were able to obtain a 7-1 win over No. 7 seed Mundelein at the Hoffman Estates regional championship Saturday.

Barrington advances to Thursday's sectional semifinal at the Mustang diamond versus Hersey (28-8).

The No. 6 Huskies won at No. 3 Warren 5-3 Saturday in Gurnee.

The victory allowed Barrington (24-12-1) to avenge two straight postseason defeats to the Mustangs (21-10) including a 1-0 sectional semifinal loss last spring.

"We just took (advantage) of our opportunities," Broncos coach Pat Wire said of his team's effort that also gave him his 250th career victory, a celebratory water-cooler dousing that also got the correspondent covering the contest, and a bonus 250th victory T-shirt in addition to capturing the program's 21st regional championship plaque.

"The same opportunities that we didn't capitalize in some other tight games (this season) and I thought that was wonderful for us and everybody really played a part (in). It was a good baseball game against a very good team that we have a lot of respect for that has ended our season twice."

The Broncos went to bat in the bottom of the third leading 1-0 when they broke the game open with a 6-run, 6-hit outburst.

After Conor Fitzpatrick drew a base in balls, a Kade Schneider single moved him to third. Schneider advanced to second on a wild pitch which set up the first pivotal moment of both the inning and the game when right fielder Dillon Fitzpatrick (Conor's brother) returned a Ryan Geraghty pitch to third where it took a high hop before Mustang third sacker Griffin Troha snared.

However, as Troha came down attempting to make a throw to first, he slipped and fell on the infield dirt allowing Conor to score making it 2-0 and Schneider safely making it to third as well as Dillon successfully reaching first.

After first baseman Payton Soske's sacrifice bunt loaded the bases, sophomore designated hitter Julian Ashley-Friedman reached base on a run-scoring throwing error that brought Schneider in for a 3-0 advantage.

Then, starting Broncos hurler Nick Lacson helped out his own cause with an RBI single that brought Dillon Fitzpatrick for a 4-0 lead. After a run-scoring infield hit by Noah Rasmussen made it 5-0 two at-bats later, a two-run single by senior shortstop Brenden Beals brought both Lacson and Patrick Podlesnik in to close out the scoring and take the Wichita State-bound Geraghty out of the game.

In the meantime Lacson, a Colorado School Of The Mines recruit, went the distance striking out four as he only surrendered an RBI single by Mundelein right fielder Michael Carlson in the top of seventh.

"I'm so glad that I could finish this game," Lacson said. "Because it's one of the biggest games we've had so far this year and I'm glad that I could go the distance."

Wire speaks of the chance to avenge a pair of losses last week to Hersey including a 1-0 Mid-Suburban League title game loss a week ago Friday.

"It's good that we'll get a rematch with them. We'll see what happens."

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