Baseball: New Trier uses 5-run rally in extras to take down York in Class 4A third-place game
New Trier baseball did something it hadn't before.
In the process of claiming its sixth Illinois High School Association trophy in the sport, for the first time the Trevians earned third-place in Class 4A with a 9-4 victory in 8 innings over York, June 10 in Joliet.
It adds third-place hardware to first-place finishes in 2000 and 2009, second-place trophies in 1999 and 2007, and a fourth-place trophy in 2017.
"We kind of had a down year (16-17) for us last year, and I think the seniors took it upon themselves to do something about it. We talked about changing the culture, doing the little things," said New Trier coach Mike Napoleon, the IHSA career baseball victories leader with 967 -- 709 of them in 26 seasons with the Trevians.
"We started off in late October with a meeting, started lifting in December, and I think the seniors getting those guys in the weight room and making it count was really important. It just carried over into the season," Napoleon said.
New Trier (30-8) and York (25-15-1) were deadlocked 4-4 entering the top of the eighth inning. The Trevians ripped off 5 runs beginning with Graham Mastros' one-out fielder's choice that scored Jackson McCarey.
Brendan Stressler followed with a two-run triple to left-center field; James Novakovic hit an RBI groundout; and Trey Meyers finished it off with an RBI double to finish off the marathon game that saw New Trier use 27 players.
With the Class 4A championship to follow, tied after 7 innings Napoleon checked with IHSA officials to see if the game would end in a tie or if it would play out.
Play on, he was told.
"Let's score a few runs this inning so we can hold them and win this game," Napoleon told his team. "And that's exactly what we did. It's that simple. It was just very contagious hitting that inning."
The Dukes took a 1-0 lead on Ryan Turner's RBI single off Trevians starting pitcher Justin Wood, the son of former Chicago Cubs star pitcher Kerry Wood.
New Trier answered back with Stressler's RBI single in the third inning off Dukes starter Noah Hughes.
Turner followed up with a run-scoring sacrifice fly in the bottom half of the third, but New Trier's Max Miller ripped an RBI double to knot it at 2-2 in the fourth.
Stressler (3-for-4, 4 RBI) hit another RBI single in the fifth for the brief 3-2 New Trier lead, but York's Jack Braun pounded a two-run single in response to retake the lead.
New Trier tied the game in the sixth after Miller ripped a one-out triple and McCarey brought him in with a single prior to their big eighth-inning run.
Napoleon, who led New Trier to 30 or more wins for an 11th time, made sure to get everyone into the game, having lost in Friday's Class 4A semifinals 4-0 to eventual runner-up Brother Rice.
"It's all about the experience and being down there. They all took part in the season, so I don't want to diminish it at all," Napoleon said.
Starting with Justin Wood, the Trevians' first four pitchers each threw 1 inning apiece, Wood followed by Noah Shapo, Charlie Hahn and Aiden Nicholson.
New Trier's eighth pitcher of the day, Jack Wilson (1-2) earned the victory with 2 innings of hitless relief, striking out one Dukes batter.
York also achieved a landmark. The Dukes reached the final four in baseball for the third time in a program history that dates back to at least 1920.
"We just did something that's never been done at York," Dukes coach Dave Kalal said.
"Back-to-back sectional championships, a supersectional championship ... We got our third state trophy as a baseball program. A lot of schools would love to have one state trophy or one regional plaque. Now, we've got three state trophies," Kalal said.
Napoleon, who retires as a kinetic wellness and physical education teacher after the 2023-24 school year, has a quality staff returning. Wood, Wilson, Shapo, Max Kaplan and Beau McBride combined for 22 of the Trevians' 30 victories.
"I'm really excited about our junior pitchers," Napoleon said.
Edwardsville (33-9) repeated as Class 4A champion with a 6-4 win over Brother Rice (26-16).