Baseball: Stevenson tops Hersey for sectional crown

By Dick Quagliano
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 6/3/2023 5:34 PM

Stevenson showed Saturday why the Patriots were the top seed in the Class 4A Mundelein sectional.

Led by their 13 seniors, Stevenson had a balanced attack of pitching, defense, hitting and base running as the Patriots knocked of sixth-seeded Hersey 8-3 to win the sectional title.


It was the fourth sectional title in school history for the Patriots (30-9). It was also their program's third 30-win season.

Stevenson will next take on New Trier (24-7) Monday at Wintrust Field at 7:30 p.m. New Trier rolled past Evanston 11-0 in five innings to win their sectional.

"It is wonderful, especially for our seniors," Stevenson coach Nick Skala said. "Everyone pitched in today. I can't wait to see what happens moving forward. We have one more game together. That's all we can ask for."

The Patriots got solid pitching.

Starter Brett Gaynor, who went 5-plus innings and allowed two runs, both of which were unearned. Freshman Frank Consabile came on in relief and got the Patriots out of trouble that inning. He gave way to Nick Rayyan, who got a called strike three to end the game with the bases loaded.

"Brett got us off to a good start, which is always one of our goals," Skala said. "And our offense picked us up."

Stevenson got solid defense from outfielders Chris Iannuzzi and Brandon Schultz. Shortstop JR Nelson always made a trio of defenses plays, two of which came in the second inning,

by signing up you agree to our terms of service

Nelson took a ground ball headed up the middle to score a sure run and turned it into a routine out. On the very next Hersey batter, he made a diving stop and threw out the batter at first. Both plays prevented Hersey from tying the game at 1-1.

"Just trying to do anything to keep that ball from going into the outfield," said Nelson, who had a double play in the seventh to slow Hersey again.

"I was glad to get the outs at first. Kudos to my coach. He told me to play more up the middle because they were late on the fastball."

Stevenson, which had five stolen bases, rapped out eight hits including a pair of doubles by Joe Richardson. Each of his doubles drove in a run.

"I wasn't trying to do much at the plate," Richardson said. "In the past few weeks, I was trying to do a lot. But I feel much more loose now and I am trying to come up big for the team."


Colin Schmitke had an RBI single and a sacrifice fly to score Matthew Bressler. Schmitke was excited that his team was able to continue to be together.

"It is all we do, to try to keep adding on," Schmitke said. "We are real excited and ready to play. We are all together and playing with our hearts and just trying to win."

Consabile had a key two-run single in the sixth that broke the game open for the Patriots. Schultz had two hits and an RBI while Iannuzzi had an RBI single.

"These kids are unbelievable," Skala said. "These 13 seniors have been with us for three years. They are doing awesome and they are leading us."

Hersey (29-9) had its best season in school history. The Huskies had never advanced this deep in the state playoffs. They also set a school record for wins.

"I am so proud," Hersey coach Wally Brownley said. "The culture they created is just awesome. It literally brings tears to my eyes. They got better and they got closer. As great as they are as baseball players, they are better people."

The future could be bright for Hersey. They graduate six seniors, only one of which was a starter.

"I am very excited about the 17 guys we have coming back," Brownley said. "We have something to build on."

Go to comments: 0 posted
Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.